Over the past decade, halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) have received increasing scrutiny due to environmental and health concerns of HFRs such as Decabrom. Alexium’s Nycolon technology is based on a non-leachable HFR that does not pose the same environmental/health problems.
While Nycolon’s chemistry satisfies any regulatory concerns for HFRs, Alexium’s non-halogenated FR treatment for nylon-cotton blends was developed to satisfy market segments interested in halogen-free products. The halogen-free process is effective with fabric blends with up to 50% nylon content. This treatment provides a fabric that does not melt/drip, has excellent vertical flame test performance, and is durable for 50 wash/dry laundering cycles.
“Alexium’s FR technology for synthetic/cotton blends has seen great advancements over the past year, and the halogen-free version is really a natural outgrowth of this. We are now focused on working with customers on product applications, as well as demonstrating the halogen-free technology for industrial laundering, including polyester-cotton blends,” says Bob Brookins, Alexium’s head of research and development.
In a further breakthrough, Alexium over the last month has successfully demonstrated FR treatments on polyester-cotton blends, further extending the textile application range. Polyester fiber is the most used synthetic fiber worldwide, with a market share of about 72%.
Its production cost are reasonably low, and it is also successfully used in many industrial and textile applications, as well as in the automotive industry. For over a decade, the world's polyester market has enjoyed a sustained annual growth rate of 7–9%. The total world polyester market is approximately 65 billion pounds, with nearly 46% going into the home furnishings, technical, and household textile markets.