CLEVELAND – U.S. demand for flame retardants is expected to reverse its decline and is forecast to expand 2.7 percent per annum to 950 million pounds in 2013, valued at $900 million. Flame retardant advances will reflect renewed vigor in key markets such as insulated wire and cable, and construction. Other stimulants include more stringent fire codes and flammability requirements. Price increases will moderate significantly due to more normal energy and raw material costs. These and other trends are presented in Flame Retardants, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc.
The industry will continue to be impacted by trends away from halogenated flame retardants due to health and environmental concerns. Alumina trihydrate will continue to be the most widely used flame retardant type, accounting for 43 percent of total demand in 2013, due to its low cost, excellent performance and widespread applications. Best growth is expected for phosphorus-based flame retardants, which are projected to increase 3.7 percent yearly to 168 million pounds. Growth will be driven by non-halogenated phosphorus grades, which have a more benign environmental footprint than heavily regulated brominated compounds. Demand for chlorinated compounds will decrease through 2013 due to their adverse health and environmental impacts.