Product Improvement: Caulfield Engineering Scientists Help Develop New Fire Retardant Formulation
- Caulfield Engineering personnel have practical industrial R&D experience.
- We can help fill in technical knowledge gaps for industrial clients covering short- to medium-term needs.
A building material manufacturer was faced with a crisis. The price point was changing for fire retardants they added to their product. In order to maintain already slim margins, a step-function change would be required in either the identity of the fire retardant or how the fire retardant was added. Caulfield Engineering scientists and engineers were brought in to fill some expertise gaps, carry out laboratory scale experimentation, and provide a fresh perspective. Following a literature review and laboratory testing, the new fire retardant formulation was successfully implemented in the client’s manufacturing facility. The resulting product was able to satisfy fire testing requirements using less fire retardant than was used previously, saving the client significant raw material costs.
As many companies have downsized and eliminated in-house research capabilities, they have lost the ability to address certain unexpected roadblocks. Situations like these are ideal for CE to provide short- to medium-term assistance without the time and capital investment involved with hiring full-time staff. Such was the case in this example. CE chemists performed thorough literature searches to identify possible alternate fire retardant materials, determined whether any of these were cost-effective, and researched alternative methods of adding the fire retardant. When a few of these alternative methods was targeted by the client, CE performed the basic laboratory research to optimize the process and provide guidance for scale-up to pilot and full plant trials.