No messing with fire retardant elastomer

Delphi Technologies has developed a material believed to significantly reduce the spread of fire.

The Thermoplastic Elastomer Intumescent Fire Shield is a lightweight, chemically resistant, sound deadening material which is said to retain mechanical strength integrity in the event of a fire; and its design flexibility means it can be utilised for specific application requirements.

When the material is exposed to fire it swells and expands to form a ceramic-like foam that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire and flow of heat.

The intumescent material is made up of a base resin made from a blend of high-density polythene and chlorinated polythene; fire retardant additives, such as antimony oxide, as well as gas-generating foaming agents, char formers and fillers.

Despite its plastic and rubber blend, the material does not melt, drip or burn through after long exposure to intense fires.

The material is said to be malleable enough to form complex shapes using plastic forming techniques, although it has to be applied to the surface of the part – or structure – it is protecting.

Delphi say that tests on vehicles using large-scale fuel-fed fires showed the material to be very effective in providing fire shielding.

Fuel system integrity was said to be maintained whilst the spread of fire into the passengers seats through the bulkhead or wheel was appreciably slowed down.

Delphi also claim that the material can be used in residential or industrial buildings to contain fire, slow down the spread of flames and protect structural beams from softening by exposure to high temperatures.

On the web at www.delphiauto.com