Expansion of butyl rubber portfolioButyl 100 is a new low-viscosity butyl rubber that is suitable above all for the production of heavy-duty seals and gaskets, in which minimal gas permeability is specified. "The Butyl 100 is a key addition to our portfolio. It is strategically a very important product for us as it shows that we are not tying our product range to the tyre market, but want to align ourselves in the medium term even more strongly than before to the needs of the other key markets of the future," says Christian Lindenhayn, head of Global Marketing of the Butyl Rubber business unit.Butyl 100 is largely based on Polysar Butyl 100. It has a comparatively low double bond content of 0.9 % and a Mooney viscosity of 33 ML (1+8) at 125 °C. "Potential applications exist, for example, in seals for double glazing. Double-glazed windows may be very common in Europe, but they are only just being introduced in many other parts of the world. The adhesives industry is also dependent on low-viscosity butyl rubber for many uses. Both of these are high-growth markets," says Lindenhayn. Until now, Lanxess had three so-called "regular butyl" grades and four halogenated grades, which boast, among other things, simplified vulcanisation and improved adhesion to fabric."Three years ago, we decided to also dedicate ourselves increasingly to non-tyre segments. Lanxess Butyl 100 offers significant opportunities in this respect and serves this strategic goal in a quite particular way," says Lindenhayn. "Not least, we are also demonstrating with this new product that as one of the world's leading synthetic rubber manufacturers, we feel a commitment to contribute to the stability of the butyl rubber market. After all, in the opinion of many of our customers, the availability of low-viscosity butyl rubber is progressively deteriorating. We have opted here specifically for opportunities that are offered by supposedly smaller applications. Through our present capacity expansion projects and the construction of a new production plant in Singapore, we want not only to safeguard future supplies, we also want to give ourselves a broader base. That is why, for us, Lanxess Butyl 100 represents such an important extension to our product portfolio."Making polyamides impact-resistant with grafted EP(D)MBuna EP XT 2708 VP is a new grade in the ethylene-propylene rubber portfolio. Supplied as free-flowing pellets, it is an EP copolymer grafted with 0.8 % MAH that is ideal for applications such as modifying the impact resistance of engineering plastics such as polyamides. For example, thermoplastics modified with Buna EP XT 2708 VP exhibit particularly impressive low-temperature performance. In addition, the new EPM grade can also enhance the mechanical performance of wood/plastic composites and improve the rubber/fibre bond in fabric-reinforced rubber items such as hoses and belts.Lanxess is the only manufacturer that can produce EPDM using both the solution process and the suspension process. This allows to offer more than 40 different grades of EPDM. Therban AT 3400 VP has potential applications in liquid injection moulding, the production of in-place gaskets, and the manufacture of intricate seals Cooperation with MaplanLanxess is cooperating with Austrian elastomer machine manufacturing specialist Maplan in exploring the technical potential of its new, easy-flow HNBR elastomer, Therban AT 3400 VP. The experience gained through this collaboration will help customers interested in the new liquid injection-mouldable HNBR grade to significantly shorten the time to market of new products made from this high-performance rubber.
"Vulcanisates of Therban AT 3400 VP boast the same outstanding ozone and oil resistance and ageing and abrasion properties as comparable HNBR elastomers from Lanxess' portfolio," says Dr. Kevin Kulbaba, rubber expert from the Technical Rubber Products business unit. "The dynamic properties are also equivalent, or even superior, for example, to those of many silicone elastomers. Therban AT 3400 VP is therefore ideal for the production of seals and gaskets that are subjected to high dynamic loads and have to function reliably between -?30 and 160 °C, including in non-polar media such as oils and fuels. Nevertheless, at normal processing temperatures, the product has a viscosity of between 100 and 1,000 Pascal seconds. This means it flows 1,000 to 10,000 times more easily than existing Therban grades." This makes this ULV (= ultra-low viscous) grade suitable among other applications for liquid injection moulding.The elastomer injection moulding technology developed by Maplan seems to be predestined for the ULV-HNBRs from Lanxess. Injection units with a short, permanently tight-fitting cooled nozzle, such as in the MHF400/300 E2 units, are ideal for the production of small, thin parts made of Therban AT 3400 VP. Dispensing with nozzle retraction between the shots avoids high pressure losses and prevents the unnecessary escape of material, which, especially with the manufacture of small parts, would quickly have a negative effect. But this is precisely one of the strengths of Therban AT 3400 VP, says Dr. Kulbaba: "The new ULV Therban fills not only large-volume cavities faster than before. The easy-flow material reaches even distant parts of complicated mould cavities. This means that even small slits and extremely thin cross-sections are now filled better. We were also able to prove this in practice with the help of the injection moulding experts from Ternitz using test moulds."To adapt the machine to the viscosity of the new elastomer, all that needed to be done was to modify the feed unit. "We have since supplied several customers with samples of the new elastomer, and the feedback is very positive," says Dr. Soddemann, head of the Therban Center of Excellence in the Technical Rubber Products business unit. Rudolf Eisenhuber from Maplan is also optimistic: "ULV Therban is a highly promising material that is ideally suitable, for example, for highly demanding seals and gaskets in vehicle construction."Environmental friendly rubber flooringsThe European Commission has called on governments to ensure that by 2010 half of their construction projects comply with a range of progressive environmental criteria. Rubber floor coverings from Weinheim-based company nora systems GmbH are ideal in this respect. They include coverings made from special grades of extremely low-emission Perbunan and Krynac rubber. In addition to being highly resilient and wear-resistant, nora products also carry numerous environmental labels such as the Blue Angel issued by German and other environmental and consumer organisations. Parts of the Lanxess stand as well as the complete stand of Dr. Gupta Verlag at K 2010 will have a rubber floor covering from nora systems. Nowhere else at the K will visitors find rubber know-how so concentrated as at Rubber Street in hall 6 The Rubber StreetThe rubber industry will again have an attractive place to meet at the "K" plastics trade fair this year: Rubber Street, organised by Lanxess, makes its tenth appearance in 2010."As in 2007 and the years prior to it, Rubber Street will again be in the immediate vicinity of the Lanxess stand," says Udo Erbstösser, head of Trade and Technical Press. "That creates a win-win situation for all participants. We offer our partners a platform that is recognised and visible from far and wide, as well as a service package with a number of expert services ranging from integrated stand design and construction all the way to providing a communications infrastructure. Lastly, participating rubber processors naturally also benefit from the attractive force of one of the world's largest synthetic rubber manufacturers, one expressly committed to advancing rubber materials. In return, Lanxess can refer visitors to the Rubber Street exhibitors to show which considerable technical challenges can be mastered today in practice using sophisticated rubber raw materials and additives," explains Erbstösser. In addition, the close exchange with end customers can give decisive impetus to the continuous optimisation of Lanxess raw materials. "Forums like Rubber Street are a good opportunity to find out what the market wants. They help us to better tailor our products and services to our customers and promote their success," adds Erbstösser.Flame-retardants and moreThe Functional Chemicals business unit will present latest flame-retardant solutions for plastics and rubber. They include products such as the new Bayfomox spray foam system and Disflamoll TP LXS 51036, an odour-neutral flame retardant for PVC-based artificial leather products. Other products include a range of halogen-free flame retardants that respond to the growing customer demand for alternatives to problematic additives. The company offers a range of solutions enabling users of phthalate-based additives to switch to alternative products if they so wish. As well as the established plasticiser regular Mesamoll, these include the new development Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 and the phthalate-free bonding agent TP LXS 51099.From the Semi-Crystalline Products business unit come new developments for Durethan and Pocan, among them new Durethan grades for physical and chemical foaming and grades of Pocan and Durethan in which the flame retardant packages are free of both halogens and red phosphorus.