What Are Flame Retardants? How Do Huber’s Flame Retardants Work?

Alumina Trihydrate (ATH) and Magnesium Hydroxide (MDH)
To understand what flame retardants are, you must understand how flame retardants work.  Huber uses alumina trihydrate and magnesium hydroxide to manufacture its high-performing non-halogen flame retardants and smoke suppressants.  When exposed to heat, these metal hydroxides decompose to form water molecules in an endothermic reaction.  This results in reduced flame spread and smoke generation.  At approximately 428°F (220°C), the three water molecules are released.  The water molecules then dowse the surface of the surrounding material, serving as an effective flame retardant.  MDH acts similarly, however, it dehydrates at 626°F (330°C).



Molybdate Complexes
In addition to alumina trihydrate and magnesium hydroxide, Huber’s has a comprehensive portfolio of molybdate complexes.  Kemgard® flame retardants and smoke suppressants chemically influence the formation of organic char, effectively insulating the polymer from the heat and oxygen source thereby lowering heat and smoke release.  Kemgard grades are manufactured by patented processes in which molybdates are precipitated on an inert core.  The “coated core” approach makes more efficient use of the molybdate species by maximizing the active surface area, and at a much lower cost than pure molybdate chemicals, such as ammonium octamolybdate (AOM).

Huber Gearing Up for Fall Trade Shows

Huber Engineered Materials is currently preparing for two key trade shows:  SupplySide West and the International Wire & Connectivity Symposium (IWCS).

At SupplySide West Nov. 7-8 in Las Vegas at The Venetian & Sands Expo (Booth #14044), Huber will be talking about its natural and high purity HuberCal® calcium carbonate along with the superior services its Health & Nutrition business provides:

  • Streamlining Manufacturing Processes
  • Custom Product Development
  • Contract Manufacturing

IWCS is scheduled for Nov. 11 and 12 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.  Huber (booth #206) will be promoting its Fire Retardant Additives for wire & cable applications.  Remember, if you are currently importing your alumina trihydrate (ATH), Huber is North America’s largest specialty hydrates producer.  We also offer many flame retardant and smoke suppression solutions for wire & cable, including:

  • Precipitated and Ground ATH
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Surface-Treated Products
  • Molybdate Complexes (Kemgard® Smoke Suppressants)

We are looking forward to meeting you soon at SupplySide West and IWCS.  Please stop by and say hello and learn more about our high-performing products backed by the best technical support and customer care in the business.