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Sustainable Additives

Discover Value. Discover sustainable additives. What it takes to build a safe home

Protecting the protectors

As a species, we humans seek protection—building areas of sanctuary, constructing interiors to shield from the exterior. The roof above our heads has become symbolic for protecting both our family and valuables. Our house protects us—but what protects our house?

From the pit house to the smart home

When we think of a house, visions of comfort and familial sanctuary come to mind. Yet, the house has seen many shapes and forms in its evolution—each adding to the functionality, comfort and aesthetics of our homes. But to truly know what we’ve got, we have to start at the beginning.

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Invisible heroes saving lives

Sometimes a tiny helper can make a massive difference and save lives. Take flame retardants, for example. They are found throughout the house wherever fire would cause significant damage to the housing structure—from fuse boxes in the cellar to carpets, upholstery and electronic devices in the living room, all the way up to insulation in the attic. Especially vulnerable is a house’s electrical system—over 30% of all house fires are caused by short circuits. By using our Exolit® products in potential ignition sources, like electrical systems and electronics, this risk can be reduced considerably. Not only is Clariant the pioneer for non-halogenated flame retardants with excellent environmental profiles, but we are constantly striving to expand its portfolio. AddWorks® LXR 920, for example, is a new synergistic non-halogenated flame retardant solution for films and sheets which is applied in housing roofing sheets. Learn where and how flame retardants act

Do non-halogenated flame retardants do their job? Wolfgang Diegritz has the insights

Have you ever experienced fire personally?

Fortunately, I have never personally experienced a fire break-out. As a child, I remember seeing how the roof structure of a house had caught fire. It was an impressive event for me, watching the immense power, speed and size of the flames, which firemen took long and strong efforts to extinguish.

What are the most common causes of fire?

In newspapers and other media, we surprisingly often read reports about fire accidents and combustion processes. From my perspective the main reasons for the break-out of fires are technical defects in electrical and electronic devices (e.g., short circuits) or industrial devices (e.g., malfunction of machinery) as well as human failure and inadvertence (e.g., burning candles).

How do flame retardants reduce the impact of fires on people, property and the environment?

In an early stage of the ignition process, flame retardants can substantially contribute to extinguishing a smoldering fire (e.g., overheated electric device). At a later stage of fire—or when the fire is spreading too strong or too fast-the flame retardants cannot stop the flashover of a fire anymore. However, they can limit the impact and damage (e.g., flame retardant curtains not catching fire rapidly). And, providing a very important benefit, they can save human lives by increasing the time available for people to escape the fire (e.g., flame retardant-equipped plastics in public transportation).

What are the advantages of halogen-free flame retardants over halogenated alternatives?

Conventional halogenated flame retardants do their job. It’s clear. But the “Achilles heel” of these chemicals are their toxicity and their side effects: On the one hand some of these additives are listed as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). On the other hand a fire can release many toxic substances from halogenated flame retardants, like brominated dioxins and furans. In addition, halogenated flame retardants are commonly used together with antimony trioxide. Halogen-free flame retardants have been developed to lower the smoke toxicity and to prevent the migration of the additives. Furthermore, there is no compromise in flame retardancy and little impact on technical parameters of the final application. In the meantime, rethinking leads to a significant variety of halogen-free flame retardants, most often tailor-made for individual polymers and applications

»Halogen-free flame retardants have been developed to lower the smoke toxicity and to prevent the migration of the additives.«

Portrait of Dr. Wolfgang Diegritz from Celanese.

Dr. Wolfgang Diegritz,
Senior Engineer Field Development – E&E, Europe, Celanese

Protecting the wood from the wall to the table

When wood is stripped of its bark, it is bare and unprotected—completely vulnerable to wind and weather. This sensitive material requires special protection both inside and out. Only then can wood provide the comfort and warmth for those who desire it.

Our solution for interior wood protection: Ceridust®, based entirely on natural resources, provides wooden objects with a scratch-resistant surface.

Our solution for exterior wood protection: Hostavin®, a highly efficient UV stabilizer for water-based coatings. Watch the movie.

Daniel Rohrmus and Erik Hauck about the invention of Licocene

How did the invention of Licocene come about? Was it serendipitous or market-driven? Daniel Rohrmus: Initially, Clariant recognized the importance of polyolefins made by metallocene catalysts and started to invest heavily in this new technology. That Licocene developed in such a successful way is due to its unique properties: high-performing and sustainable additives for adhesives and beyond. This complete toolbox convinces a daily increasing number of customers. Based on a strong market-driven approach, we continue to further enhance our solutions and products, offering to fulfill the unmet needs of our customers.

»We started to invest heavily in polyolefins made by metallocene catalysts.«

Daniel Rohrmus, Head of Global Marketing BL Waxes

Why is manufacturing components and furnishings with flat lamination gaining in importance? What makes it more sustainable? Erik Hauck: Licocene has made its way into the entire range of applications in the world of adhesives. Besides assembly, paper, transportation and footwear, we are also covering wood-working adhesives for edge-banding or profile-wrapping. We make the same promise for every application: Gain better bonding with less adhesive. Flat lamination will become a vivid part of this. Here we target the market entry with an entirely new water-curing adhesive which offers unique differentiation from alternative solutions with regard to health and safety questions. Licocene benefits both the planet and our customers’ production: It saves water, has a lower carbon footprint, needs less energy and performs better. In recognition of this and based on comparison with the other available solutions, we have received the EcoTain® sustainability certification for our key products.

How does Licocene differ from comparable products? Erik Hauck: To achieve superior bonding you have to provide adhesion and cohesion to the joint. The balance between both makes the difference. We are offering both: unique cohesive power and premium adhesive strength. Besides that, factors such as low density, low viscosity and excellent thermal stability maximize the overall benefit in the bonding and manufacturing process. Our key success formula is easy:

1. Utilize the Licocene formulation approach to achieve high-polymer-content adhesives.

2. Realize high-performance bonding with less application weight and cut down manufacturing costs as a result.

»We make the same promise for every application: Gain better bonding with less adhesive.«

Dr. Erik Hauck, Technical Marketing Adhesives BL Waxes
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Flat lamination

Thanks to an innovative metallocene catalyst, Licocene® can adjust its adhesive function to meet any given requirement—from window sealants to veneered furniture.

Shaping additives with EcoTain® Our approach to sustainability

EcoTain® is our label for sustainability excellence products and solutions showcasing best-in-class performance. They highlight our contributions to a sustainable future and add value to our customers and society as a whole.

Section 12
  • Flame Retardants
    Flame retardants help to save lives by slowing down or stopping the spread of fire or reducing its intensity. They are used in anything from phones and curtains to car seats and buildings. Clariant’s halogen-free flame retardants are produced to modern standards in Germany, Switzerland and China. Their brand name Exolit® has become a byword for sustainable fire safety.
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  • Performance Additives
    Additive solutions for the plastics and coatings industry. We started with single components for a multitude of challenges like thermal stabilization, sun and oxidation protection as well as flame retardancy and process stabilization, which still form the base of our portfolio. Listening closely to our customers and analyzing market needs, we used our long-term expertise and profound technical knowledge to develop special additive combinations which are designed and optimized for the needs of particular segments and applications. As simply by adding them you profit from a multitude of benefits, we call them »AddWorks« – because that is exactly what they do. As reliable, tested, and ready-to-use solutions, our AddWorks product family lowers total cost of ownership, reduces process complexity and allows you to fully focus your workforce and assets on your business. Discover the multitude of opportunities they offer for your line of work and make a tangible difference in your market!
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  • Advanced Surface Solutions
    Clariant is a leading global player in the development, production and distribution of wax additives and performance polymers.
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