Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan’s largest and one of the world’s leading high-tech research and development institutions, has introduced Reddex, a non-toxic, fire-resistant composite material technology that simultaneously offers ignition resistance and fire protection in one system, effectively reducing the risks associated with structure fires. ITRI has received a “2010 R&D 100 Award” from R&D Magazine for this breakthrough technology.

Reddex introduces a new family of polymer inorganic composite that provides ignition resistance and effectively slows down the rate at which fire burns. It is unique in its combination of these advantages. This allows more time for people to escape, for less (non-toxic) smoke to be produced, and for fire fighters to get to the scene before the fire has dramatically spread and intensified, limiting the building’s structural damage, which can save lives and money.

Reddex sets a new standard in fire protection and offers versatility in its applications. It can be prepared as a paint, paste or foam, and is offered in mechanical properties ranging from flexible to rigid. It is ideal for buildings, hospitals, schools and residences, as well as for interiors of cars, airplanes and boats. With its flexibility, Reddex is useful in applications never imaginable: films, tapes, hoses, tubes, electrical cables and wires. Reddex can be coated onto the surface of substrates, polymeric foams, woods, silicate boards and metals for the construction of fire-resistant layered structures. The Reddex composites have excellent adhesion to these useful substrates.

“Reddex signals a breakthrough in fire prevention and will to play an integral role in reducing the risks associated with fires,” said Echo Tseng, Director of business development at ITRI’s Commercialization and Industry Service Center. “Reddex’s versatility makes it cost-effective. We anticipate material manufacturers to be particularly interested in this technology.”

In a recent study, the U.S. municipal fire departments responded to an estimated average of 109,300 structure fires in non-residential properties annually. These fires resulted in 100 deaths, 1,410 injuries and $42.5 billion in direct property damage each year. High-rise buildings had an average of 13,400 reported structure fires per year and $179 million in direct property damage.(1)

Reddex’s key breakthrough is the polymer component that chars and burns at a slower rate than any other fire retardant. The Reddex material eventually converts into a bound inorganic porous structure, which effectively becomes a structure that has low thermal conductivity to insulate heat and good mechanical rigidity to maintain structural integrity. Reddex’s formulation does not use conventional ignition-resistant additives that contain halogen, sulfur or phosphor components. As a result, no toxic gas is generated when exposed to fire. By using polymers such as PU as the organic component, which is turned into water vapor and carbon dioxide when burned, much less smoke is produced.

ITRI has applied for 45 patents for Reddex in nine countries and is currently licensing the material technology. It will be tested in the United States within one year, and ITRI expects it to be globally commercialized within three years by material manufacturers, and the fire protection, coatings and building industries. Interested companies can contact ITRI at 886-2-27377390 or e-mail for more information.