Flame-retardants are compounds added to or applied in surface treatment of potentially flammable materials, including textiles and plastics. They inhibit, delay production of, or suppress flames to curb the spreading of fire. The Asia-Pacific market for flame-retardant chemicals is expected to grow at a healthy pace of 6.4 % i.e. from $3.51 billion in 2015 to $4.8 billion during the forecast period. With 47% of the global market share, Asia-Pacific is the largest market for flame-retardants and it is also the fastest growing. China is the largest and the fastest growing market followed by India, Japan and ASEAN countries.
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Flame-retardants can be divided into sectors by their application: electronic and electrical appliances, construction, wire & cable, automotive, textiles, and others. The largest two sectors are construction and electronic & electrical appliances, together occupying more than 45% of the total market.
Electronic & electrical appliances along with wire & cable are the fastest growing markets; this growth can be credited to the rise in demand for consumer electronics goods. The automotive flame-retardant market is expected to grow driven by the growth of the automotive industry in Asia-Pacific.Increasing economic prosperity, especially in emerging economies, has helped in shifting the preference towards low risk fire resistant materials. The demand for flame-retardants is in correspondence to GDP growth.
A high GDP growth correlates to high construction activities and rise in the standard of living. The emergence of stringent fire safety standards and legislations in China, India, Japan and the ASEAN countries acts as a growth driver for the use of flame-retardants.
By composition, the key flame-retardants in the Asia Pacific market are- aluminum hydroxide, halogenated compounds, organophosphorus, nitrogen based compounds, inorganic compounds and organic compounds like nanocomposites and expandable graphite. Aluminium hydroxide is the most widely used and a fast growing sector due to its low adverse health effects and effectiveness as a smoke suppressant.
Halogenated flame-retardants occupying a major market share are a facing reduced dependence and a gradual phasing out due to their unfavorable health effects and emergence of alternative raw materials including metal hydroxides. Several harmful chemicals have been restricted through legislations in various countries or voluntarily phased out by manufacturers due to their health concerns.
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