Bromine-based Flame retardants

Bromine based flame retardants play a critical role in reducing the impact of fires on people, property and the environment allowing longer escape times in case of fire as well as allowing longer response time.

Bromine based Flame Retardants (BFRs) play a key role in meeting fire safety requirements and protecting consumers. The term “flame retardant” refers to a function and not to a specific family of chemicals.  This function of flame retardancy is derived from elements such as bromine, phosphorus, nitrogen as well as some inorganics such as magnesium and aluminium.

BFRs contain many different types of chemicals, with widely differing molecular structures, physicochemical, toxicological and ecotoxicological properties and chemistries (additives, reactive, polymeric).

They also differ from a function/technical perspective depending on the intended material or product application. It is precisely due to these differences that grouping of these substances for regulatory purposes should be approached with great caution.





A new generation of brominated flame retardants: Butadiene Styrene Co-polymer

As HBCD is being phased out globally, manufacturers of thermal insulation foams now have a more sustainable alternative flame retardant.

As an alternative to HBCD an innovative brominated polymeric flame retardant (FR) has been developed to provide effective flame retardant performance in polystyrene foams such as Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and Extruded Polystyrene (XPS).

These foams, commonly used in building and construction, ensure that homes, offices and public buildings are energy efficient and comfortable, whilst meeting fire safety requirements.

High molecular weight brominated polymer: the efficient, non-hazardous solution

This flame retardant exhibits a superior environmental profile to that of HBCD – being stable, with a high molecular weight. It is also classified as a nonhazardous polymer and as a Polymer of Low Concern(PLC) with officially recognised environment, health & safety characteristics.

Polymeric flame retardants, generally speaking, are inherently sustainable substances. Their high molecular weight makes them unlikely to penetrate through the cell membranes of living tissues. They are therefore not likely to be bioavailable and to bioaccumulate in the food chain.

BSEF Polymeric brochure

A new generation of brominated flame retardants: Butadiene Styrene Co-polymer.

TBBPA in Electrical & Electronic Equipment

Chemical flame retardants are widely used to help meet specific standards for electrical and electronic equipment for particular components. Tetrabromobisphenol A – commonly known as TBBPA – serves a vital role in improving the fire safety of virtually all types of electronics as well as civilian and defence communication equipment. This is increasingly important given the miniaturisation of electronics, where more heat is produced within smaller devices.

TBBPA is the most widely used brominated flame retardant in the world. More than 90% of TBBPA produced is used in the production of FR4 type printed wired boards. In this application, TBBPA is used as a reactive flame retardant. In other words, it ceases to exist as a free chemical in the final board, becoming an integral part of the polymer matrix used to create the material for manufacturing the FR-4 printed circuit boards.

The remaining 10% of TBBPA produced is used in engineered plastics[3] in electrical and electronics products, meaning it is added to a polymer resin.


[3] Engineering plastics exhibit higher performance than standard materials, making them ideal for tough engineering applications. Engineering plastics have superior performance in the areas of heat resistance, chemical resistance, impact resistance, fire retardancy and mechanical strength. Plastics Europe

The Life Cycle of TBBPA in Electrical & Electronic Equipment

TBBPA in Electrical & Electronic Equipment