ERJ staff report (BC)
Brussels – The SafeRubber research consortium has come up with a safer alternative accelerator to ethylene thiourea (ETU) for the vulcanisation of chloroprene rubber.
The consortium has developed a new molecule, codenamed SRM102, which it cites as a suitable candidate to replace ETU in compounding, cable manufacturing, profile extrusion and compression moulding of chloroprene rubber. SafeRubber has tested compounds containing SRM102 in a range of industrial processes at five factories in three countries.
In every case SRM102 has equalled, or shown an improvement on, compound containing ETU. It has proved itself to be a technically and commercially viable replacement for ETU as an accelerator, said Geert Scheys, secretary general of the Belgian Association of Manufacturers of Plastic and Rubber Products (Federplast).
Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modelling has already indicated SRM102 to be a safer alternative to ETU, but the new accelerator molecule has still to undergo further evaluation of its compliance with European REACH requirements.
The SafeRubber project received funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, managed by the EC’s Research Executive Agency.