Different flame retardants act in different ways, and must be matched to the specific material so performance specifications and fire safety requirements can be met. Individual transportation applications may have requirements that can only be met by a select class of flame retardant, or even a specific flame retardant within that class.
When incorporated into material formulations, flame retardants can impact the production process and the performance requirements of the final product, including:
- the ability to withstand the production process and processing temperatures
- temperature stability
- structural, mechanical or electrical properties and performance
- the degree of fire resistance
- color retention and the washability of a final product (e.g., carpeting)
Flame retardants, therefore, must be carefully chosen so the performance of the end product is not adversely affected, but that materials maintain adequate—and critical—fire-resistant characteristics.