Plastics materials are used in large volumes in major applications such as buildings, vehicles and electronic appliances. In each of these areas fire safety is critical. Hence flame retardants have been developed to improve the properties of plastics under the different conditions of processing and use. Flame retardants can act in a variety of ways: by raising the ignition temperature, reducing the rate of burning, reducing flame spread and reducing smoke generation. There are various test methods in use to quantify the effectiveness of different flame retardants and these are described here.
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