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Magnesium hydroxide's application as flame retardant

  • 2020-03-30

Magnesium hydroxide acts as a flame retardant and smoke suppressor in plastics mainly by withdrawing heat from the plastic during its decomposition into magnesium oxide and water. The water vapor that is generated dilutes the fuel supply to the flame.

Decomposition products insulate the plastic from heat and produce char that impedes the flow of potentially flammable gases to the flame. Increasing legislation and concern about the use and reliability of halogen flame retardants make magnesium hydroxide more attractive to plastics producers. Magnesium hydroxide offers flame retardant and smoke suppression from a substance that is acid- and halogen-free and has low toxicity values. In most cases, with proper selection of the grade of magnesium hydroxide, no compromise need be made for physical properties and flame retardant of the plastic. For high-loading applications where the use of high-end or coated magnesium hydroxide is dictated, legislation maybe the dominant driving force for specifying magnesium hydroxide as opposed to halogen flame retardants. The more economical route for lower loading applications may be the use of lower-priced grades of magnesium hydroxides.

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