RTP Company Introduces Flame Retardant Plastics for UL 2043 Plenum Space Compliant Applications

WINONA, MINNESOTA, USA  — Global custom engineered thermoplastics compounder RTP Company has introduced a new series of flame retardant products for use in applications installed in air-handling spaces that need to meet Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) 2043 standard for heat and smoke release.

“Due to increasing demands from the building industry for plenum rated materials, RTP Company developed a new set of flame retardant compounds to comply with the UL 2043 standard,” said Greg Fedor, Flame Retardant Products Business Manager at RTP Company.  “These compounds will allow OEMs the freedom to design products using thermoplastics in applications where they previously relied on metal to comply with UL’s standards.”

Targeted at replacing metal, RTP Company’s compounds are capable of providing sufficient strength and stiffness while also simplifying manufacturing through the elimination of secondary operations that are required in metal fabrication.  RTP Company compounds are tailored for injection molding or extrusion processing.  They can also be used as a drop-in substitute for existing plastic applications to seamlessly transition them to a UL 2043 compliant solution.

For years the standard for testing materials used in the building industry has been UL 723 or ASTM E 84, which are also known as the Steiner Tunnel Test.  These methods are intended for testing heat and visible smoke release during combustion of large, continuous materials and they are not well suited for qualifying smaller individual devices.  As an alternative for these tests, UL 2043 has been adopted into building codes as an authorized certification test for smaller discrete products.  Using this method, appropriately designed plenum space products can use flame retardant thermoplastics and meet certification requirements for installation in air-handling spaces.

Transitioning to plastic materials can benefit many applications deployed in air-handling spaces, such as air diffusing vents, ceiling mounted speakers, wireless network access points, emergency monitoring equipment, mounting and support brackets, along with lighting fixture components.  Because size, geometry, and nominal wall thickness are critical factors for any application using plastics that must meet flammability standards, product designers should consult with RTP Company’s material engineers before specifying a particular solution.

UL 2043 compliant flame retardant compounds are available in polyolefins, polyamides (nylons), and other engineering resin systems and are supported worldwide from RTP Company’s global facilities that provide technical support from design through finished part production.

For more information on RTP Company’s flame retardant products or their complete portfolio of custom engineered thermoplastic compounds, call +1 507-454-6900.