Flammability
Polyurethanes, like all organic materials, are flammable. Consequently, Huntsman Polyurethanes is concerned to ensure that the products made from its chemicals meet the highest standards of fire protection.

For more than 30 years it has conducted research and development in foam products which contribute to fire safety in a range of applications. In this time, it has built a deep understanding of the complex chemistry and physics of fire.

The main application areas where flammability plays a major role are in building/construction and in upholstered furniture and mattresses.

Correct building practice has been recognized as a key area for public safety in terms of fire performance. With the ever-increasing requirements for energy saving in the heating and cooling of buildings, the market for insulation products based on polyurethane rigid foams is growing strongly all over the world.

The fire safety of these products is controlled in every market and Huntsman Polyurethanes actively supports the development of improved standards and the spreading of best practice, especially in developing countries.

Our experts are participating in several fora at the global (ISO), regional (CEN in Europe) and national levels to assist in this process.

Visit the European Association of Isocyanate Producers for more information and where several publications can be ordered or downloaded.

Product performance is improving, in line with the standards. Several years ago Huntsman Polyurethanes (then ICI Polyurethanes) introduced polyisocyanurate foams (PIR) which have properties superior to more conventional polyurethane foams. Further improved derivatives of these foams are now widely used.

In the furniture and mattress markets, there is an increasing demand for improved fire performance, particularly with respect to resistance to ignition. Huntsman Polyurethanes experts are working on an acceptable solution with other stakeholders in the European Union and the USA.

Visit the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry  for more information.

Return to the use of polyurethane product life cycle stage