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Adopted opinions and previous consultations on applications for authorisation

Adopted opinions and previous consultations on applications for authorisation

This page provides further information on the applications for authorisation or review reports, which have undergone consultation. The applications for authorisation are in the opinion development phase until the final opinions of the Committees for Risk Assessment and Socio-economic Analysis have been adopted and sent to the European Commission. Its decision-making process can be followed through the comitology register, where further information is published about the REACH Committee's past and upcoming meetings.

On 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) withdrew from the EU. The transition period provided by the withdrawal agreement ended on 31 December 2020. As of 1 January 2021, an application for an authorisation submitted by a person established in the UK (except Northern Ireland) is no longer valid in the EU, unless that application has been transferred to a legal entity established in the EU or Northern Ireland before the end of the transition period. Therefore, authorisation applications and decisions in so far as these concern persons established in the UK (except Northern Ireland) are no longer considered valid. The table below will be updated at a later stage.


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Substance Details

4-Nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated
EC Number
CAS Number
Entry Nr in Annex XIV
Use name
Mixing, by Aerospace Companies and their associated supply chains, including the Applicant, of base polysulfide sealant components with NPE-containing hardener, resulting in mixtures containing < 0.1% w/w of NPE for Aerospace uses that are exempt from authorisation under REACH Art. 56(6)(a).
Broad information on use applied for (conditions of use and function)
This use covers on site mixing of the NPE-containing hardener with the base of the polysulfide sealants. The use covers mixing of two compartment kits (either mechanically, pneumatically, or manually), mixing in small scale batches by hand from can kits, as well as bulk mixing by machine from drum kits.

Polysulfide sealants, containing very low concentrations of NPE, are used to deliver specific safety functions in production, maintenance and repair within the aerospace industry, in accordance with the requirements of airworthiness regulations or applicable defence requirements.

Polysulphide sealant uses include, but are not limited to:
- Sealing structures/components to
a. keep moisture or other fluids out (to prevent corrosion or attack of structures/components)
b. keep fluids in (e.g. fuel, hydraulic fluids, etc.)
c. prevent airflow to maintain cabin pressure
- Isolating components to separate dissimilar substrates/metals to prevent corrosion or provide thermal/electrical insulation
- Filling gaps to create an aerodynamic surface (aero smoothing) and eliminate moisture accumulation or traps
- Provide adhesion in engines and nacelles, when flexibility and compatibility with mating gap filler is required; bonding structures requiring flexibility; and bonding/sealing of wires
- Electrical potting in connectors, PC boards, circuit boards

They are used in a range of applications including fuel tanks (to prevent leakage), window sealing (ensuring air tightness and pressurization of passenger cabins), actuators, electronic controller connections, gyros, wiper blade systems, propeller blades, ball screws for actuators, flight control rudder pedals, joint sealing of general aircraft structures during assembly process, to assemble structures, etc.
The properties of the sealants include, but are not limited to:
- Resistance to degradation by fuel and other chemicals
- Flexibility over a wide range of temperatures, most uniquely extreme cold
- Adhesion to a wide range of substances
- Ability to stress-relax, thereby maintaining adhesion to expanding and contracting substrates

Polysulfide sealants in the scope of this application for authorisation comprise a base and a hardener component. Only the hardener component contains very low concentrations (0.6%) of NPE. This use covers the mixing of the base and the hardener components. Mixing is carried out in a highly controlled manner using manual or mechanical methods. Once mixed, the concentration of NPE in the sealant is always less than 0.1% w/w, so the mixed sealant is exempt from authorisation.

The Applicant states there is no release of hardener or sealant to wastewater from the facility during sealant mixing and related cleaning and maintenance activities. NPE contaminated waste generated during mixing is managed as hazardous by licensed third party waste management contractors. The waste is processed in line with the applicable local, regional, and national regulations. Compliance to these regulations preclude release to the environment and generally involve incineration.

Annual tonnage used: <1 tonne
Number of sites: >100
Review period requested: 4 years
Use applied for number in application for authorisation
Broad information on use applied for (Use descriptor system)
Sector of end use (SU): 0: Other: Aerospace
Environmental release category (ERC): 6b
Process category (PROC): N/A
Product category (PC): 1
Article category related to subsequent service life (AC): N/A
Technical Function: The presence of NPE in the hardener results from Use 1. NPE has no known independent function during Use 2; however, testing is still ongoing to verify this.
Summary table of RMMs and OCs (non confidential)
Section 9 and 10 of the CSR (original and updated, if available) (non confidential)
Analysis of Alternatives (non confidential report)
Substitution Plan (non confidential summary)
Socio-Economic Analysis (non confidential report)
Joint Analysis of Alternatives and Socio-Economic Analysis (non confidential report)
Explanatory note
Additional information
Chemetall GmbH; Chemetall PLC - [Application void as of 01/01/2021]
Application type
Opinions adopted
Other consultations on the same/ similar use
Comments submitted to date
Response to comments by applicant
Responses to RAC and SEAC requests by Applicant(s) (non confidential)
Compiled RAC and SEAC opinions
Minority positions
Adopted commission decision (OJ summary)
Authorisation decision

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