ERJ staff report (PR)
Manchester, UK – Robinson Brothers of West Bromwich has earned UK chemical industry recognition for its development of a safer alternative to ethylene thiourea (ETU) rubber cure accelerator, within the EU-backed Safe Rubber project.
The English midlands company won the innovation award, sponsored by GSK, in the Chemical Industry Awards 2014. The annual event, organised by the Chemical Industries Association, was staged in Manchester, on 26 June.
ETU is widely used in polychloroprene manufacture, but looks set to be phased out as a threat to human health. Alternatives are available for the accelerator, but these generally fail to deliver the required technical performance.
Robinson Brothers’ work involved a detailed study of many potential replacement molecules and the innovative use of QSAR modelling to assess the toxicology of selected rubber chemicals. Trials proved the new product to be as good as ETU or better, said the CIA.
“Robinson Brothers won this award for their amazing invention of a new safe and effective accelerator, using an innovative approach which focused on a fundamental understanding of how ETU worked,” said the judges’ citation.