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); Federplast.be, 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.

SafeRubber: alternativas aos aceleradores Thiourea

Desde Junho de 2010 que o Consórcio SafeRubber, formado por várias associações, universidades e empresas europeias tem estado a procurar uma alternativa adequada e mais segura ao ETU, o acelerador tipo Thiourea mais comum e desde há longa data utilizado na vulcanização da borracha de policloropreno para tornar mais rápida a criação de ligações moleculares cruzadas. O trabalho inicial concentrou-se na pesquisa do mecanismo de vulcanização do policroropreno com ETU, com o objectivo de projectar e sintetizar várias moléculas alternativas. Estas moléculas estão agora a ser optimizadas em compostos de policloropreno antes de se passar à escala industrial. Os resultados intermédios deste projecto de investigação trienal estão disponíveis no endereço internet do projecto SafeRuber.

Os parceiros do Consórcio SafeRubber são: a Assocomaplast, a Associação Italiana dos Construtores de Máquinas para Processamento de Plásticos e Borracha (coordenadora); a Federplast.be, a Federação Belga dos Plásticos e Borracha; a BRPPA, a Associação Britânica dos Produtos de Borracha e Poliuretano; a ETRMA, a Associação Europeia dos Fabricantes de Pneus e Borracha; a Clwyd Compounders Ltd, do Reino Unbido; a Robinson Brothers Ltd, do Reino Unido; a MGN Transformaciones del Caucho, S.A., de Espanha; a Mixer S.p.A , de Itália; a Grand Synthesis Latvia Ltd; a Universidade de Milão-Bicocca, Itália; a Norner Innovation AS, da Noruega e o MaTRI – Materials Technology Research Institute, do Reino Unido.

API invests in TPE/TPU capacity and research

image API Spa, Italy’s leading producer of thermoplastic compounds (TPE, TPU and Bioplastics), has announced significant investments in production machinery and R&D infrastructure. The investment plan includes a new production line for Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), bringing the total number of lines to five and increasing production capacity by 25%, 2 new lines for the production of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) and APINAT Bioplastics increasing production capacity by 15%, an integrated system for automated packaging and palleting, a new line dedicated to the production of MICRO-GRANULATED TPE and TPU, a new technologically advanced system of industrial SCALE-UP, a complete overhaul of the sample and masterbatch production departments, and new Research and Development labs.

Custom-engineered TPE

image[5]KRAIBURG TPE (Waldkraiburg, Germany) will present, at the K 2010, several tailored TPE product solutions for multiple market sectors. The TPE specialist has developed a new high-performance compound from the HIPEX® product family for the Automotive, Industrial and Engineering markets. The compounds of the THERMOLAST® M line are specially geared to the needs of the pharmaceutical and medical market. Among other things, manufacturers and users profit from improved sliding capacity with respect to other materials as well as an extensive selection of hardness variants for bonding to PC and ABS plastics. In the consumer segment, the focus will be the new THERMOLAST® K compounds for “wet grip” applications. They guarantee maximum grip of a product even when wet. And not only pleasant haptics, but also an appealing fragrance can be convincing arguments for consumers. For this purpose KRAIBURG TPE has developed odor batches making it possible to provide all compounds with any desired fragrance.

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Twin Screw Side Degassing

image Coperion (Stuttgart, Germany) has made a number of improvements to its ZS-EG side degassing units: The screw set has been optimised, the standard models of the ZS-EG are designed for an absolute vacuum of up to 50 mbar, lower degassing pressure upon request. Moreover the ZS-EG standard units are equipped with a variable speed screw drive.

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Multitalented elastic materials for undercover assignments

When most people think about rubber, the first thing that comes to mind is probably car tyres. After all, we see them everywhere on our streets and roads, and many of us have to ensure that they are regularly inspected and replaced. About 60 percent of the 22 million tonnes of rubber used worldwide every year are processed to make all kinds of tyres. However, rubber can be used for many other purposes, most of which fall under the headings “sealing”, “damping” and “transportation” – three simple words, with a lot more to them than might first appear. This is because many rubber products are used for undercover applications, so that most people are unaware of the real scope of this material’s versatility. Rubber products are used to seal things as small as medicinal ampoules and as large as the roofs of stadiums. They help trains to run smoothly and engines to run quietly, ensure that conveyor belts perform energy-efficiently and wind turbines gain the necessary momentum. They give operating elements their soft-touch feeling, and – in the form of safety clothing – protect people against dangerous substances. As belts in different shapes and sizes, they transmit energy, and as hoses of all kinds they transport fluids, both in the home and in industrial and medical applications.The new materials have been accompanied by changes in rubber processing technology. Rising raw material costs and falling prices to buyers are forcing processors to continuously improve the efficiency of their production methods. Many of the new possibilities will be presented at K 2010 – the world’s biggest trade fair for plastics and rubber – from 27 October to 3 November in Düsseldorf.

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