By Liz White, ERJ staff
Dusseldorf,Germany--Newly-formed rubber, plastics and chemicals business Lanxess, soon to be separated out from current owner Bayer AG, is excited about the prospects for the future and is busy launching new products such as an easy processing grade--Therban AT (advanced technology)--of its hydrogenated nitrile rubber.
This is â€œa real technology breakthrough,â€ said Dirk Schaefer, who is head of global product management for Therban and also marketing chief for technical rubber products with Lanxess Deutschland GmbH. The Lanxess technical rubber grouping includes nitrile rubber, polychloroprene, HNBR, EPDM, EVA and polychloroprene, while the group's tyre sector products are pooled together in another Lanxess business unit for butadiene rubbers. Another unit deals with butyl rubber and a rubber chemicals grouping completes the firm's materials for the elastomer sector.
Therban AT has a Mooney viscosity of 39, compared with at least 56 for conventional HNBR grades, "some 30 percent lower," Schaefer added. "This implies a lot of processing advantages for the customer" said Schaefer, in an interview at the K 2004 exhibition in Dusseldorf, 21 Oct. Bayer added that the low Mooney makes it possible to create finished compounds with Mooney of 55 to 60, compared with Mooneys of around 100 for existing HNBR compounds.
"First and foremost, in injection moulding, lower pressures," or lower amounts of process aids need to be added. Therban AT gives easy flow and better moulding characteristics, and reducing or eliminating process additiives or plasticisers lowers the risk of mould fouling and of bloom formation on the product surface, Schaefer indicated.
Better mixing is also possible because of the better flow, and all of these benefits come with almost no change to the material's good physical properties, Schaefer continued. Bayer said the black incorporation time of the new grade is much less, because it is softer than conventional HNBRs. That means quicker mix cycle times, said the company. The new product is aimed a timing belts, O-rings and cable applications, said Bayer.
Roland Parg, board member responsible for the technical Rubber Products activity at Lanxess, said the new AT grade reinforces Lanxess' reputation as the innovative supplier of rubber materials.
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Website of Lanxess' Therban AT grade