SafeRubber: alternatives to Thiourea rubber accelerators

Since June 2010 the SafeRubber Consortium, formed by multiple European associations, universities and companies and funded by EU, has been working on a suitable and safer alternative to ETU, the most common Thiourea-based accelerator long time used in the vulcanization of polychloroprene rubber to speed up the creation of molecular cross links. The initial work concentrated on research into the chemical mechanism of the vulcanization of polychloroprene using ETU, in order to design and synthesize several alternative molecules. These molecules are now being optimized in polychloroprene compounds before being scaled up to an industrial process. The mid-point results of the three-year research based project are available on the SafeRubber website.
The partners in the SAFERUBBER research consortium are: Assocomaplast (Coordinator), the Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Molds Manufacturers’ Association (coordinator);, Belgian Plastic and Rubber Products Association; BRPPA, British Rubber and Polyurethane Products Association; ETRMA, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Associations; Clwyd Compounders Ltd, UK; Robinson Brothers Ltd, UK; MGN Transformaciones del Caucho, S.A., Spain; Mixer S.p.A , Italy; Grand Synthesis Latvia Ltd; University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy; Norner Innovation AS, Norway; MaTRI, UK Materials Technology Research Institute.