Chlorinated Paraffins: Used In Flame Retardants and Plasticizers

Chlorinated paraffin is manufactured by chlorination of designated standard paraffin fractions of straight-chain hydrocarbons acquired from petroleum refining. Ordinary industrial chlorinated paraffin is not a single compound but is mixtures, each containing multiple homologous n-alkanes, referring to their manufacture from non-paraffin fractions of varying degrees of chlorination.

Chlorinated paraffin is defined by the first estimate of the carbon chain length spectrum of the n-alkanes and the chlorine content of the component. The average chain length for the hydrocarbon feedstock or the average molecular weight is most frequently indicated.Chlorinated paraffin referred to as C12, will be 60% chlorine, a commodity with an average chain length of 12 carbons of roughly 60% chlorine.

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins can be used as a plasticizer in numbers, fabrics, flame retardant adhesives, and fabrics, including vinyl flooring for carpets and wire cable coatings. They can also be used as fatty and softening agents in the leather industry and as impregnating agents in the textile industry, and as an ingredient for binding compounds. They are commonly used as an intense pressure lubricant for metalworking fluids.

High Pressure

Chlorinated paraffins are used as polyvinyl chloride plasticizers, as high-pressure additives in metal-machine fluids, as paint additives, coatings, and sealants to improve their resistance to chemicals and water, and as flame retardants for plastics, fabrics, paints, and coatings.

Saves Raw Material Costs

Six grades within the makchlor range are explicitly recommended for PVC applications. This grade can be used as single plasticizers in comparatively rough goods, such as flooring compounds. However, they are most widely used as partial substitutes for phthalate or phosphate main plasticizers. Their use of PVC compounds results in considerable savings in the cost of raw materials. The finished compounds' properties are not affected, and the flame retardance can be improved if makchlor is used in the vinyl formulation. The use of chlorinated paraffin secondary plasticizers is simple and, if the compatibility limits are not met, no oxidation occurs.


Chlorinated paraffins are the secondary plasticizer for PVC resin mixture and flame retardants. It is chemically inert and non-corrosive, essentially non-volatile, non-flammable, and has flame-resistant properties. It exhibits excellent resistance to water and decomposes before boiling. It is insoluble in water and glycerine, soluble in certain chemical solvents, partially soluble in aromatic hydrocarbons, aliphatic hydrocarbons, ketones, esters, vegetable, and animal oils, and miscible with benzene, chloroform, ether, carbon tetrachloride. Used in manufacturing PVC cables, hoses and tubing, insulation tapes, and a variety of other lightweight products as a cost-effective replacement for costly products.

Flame Retardant Applications

Chlorinated paraffins of about 70% chlorine are used. The length of the carbon chain of chlorinated paraffin used in flame retardants depends on industrial use. Chlorine is commonly used as a flame retardant in rubber and soft plastics. C18–30, 70% chlorine, is found in solid plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. Long row, 70% chlorinated paraffin is used in the black coating in combination with sulfide trioxide.

Chlorinated paraffins cause chlorination of hydrocarbons. These plasticizers consist of 30%-70% chlorine, which helps them also act as flame retardants. The higher the chlorine content, the lower the plasticizing effect of chlorinated paraffin on PVC. This plasticizer group provides high chemical stability and moisture tolerance but is thermally unstable, restricting their use to processing temperatures below 1750C. Other stabilizers are then added for higher operating temperature applications.


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