After a successful trial at a London Underground station, a flame retardant natural rubber has been approved for commercial use in flooring.
Natural-FR, developed by the Tun Abdul Razak Research Center (TARRC), is a zero halogen, low smoke, low toxic modified NR compound that will help the matting maker meet sustainability targets in products. Because it’s derived from renewable resources, the product will “have a significant negative carbon footprint,” according to TARRC.
Before Natural-FR was certified for use, the industry used synthetic materials. But TARRC, the research and promotion center of the Malaysian Rubber Board, took on the challenge of developing a usable compound based on natural rubber, according to Marina Fernando, head of TARRC's industrial support unit.
“What we had to do was look at the various standards currently in place in Europe, do the various testing and achieve third-party certification,” she said. “You just can't go in and put the material anywhere. You have to go to a certified laboratory that would do all the tests.”
TARRC modified the natural rubber and then added fire retardant additives in order to meet criteria for smoke density, smoke toxicity, heat release rate, flame spread, and dry and wet slip resistance.
“What's proprietary is the modified natural rubber and the way we have optimized the additives package that goes into the rubber compound to give it the flame retardancy,” Fernando said.
TARRC also is looking to develop the compound for use in other applications.
For BCC Research flame retardant chemicals report, visit the following link: