Rubber chemicals allow for safe protection in tyres against oxidation

Sunlight and oxygen are vital for humans, but harmful to rubber, therefore speciality chemicals firm Lanxess offers an extensive range of antioxidants and antiozonants to prevent various types of aging in synthetic and natural rubber products. These products can be combined with one another to improve the distinct effective range of each particular compound.

The Germany-headquartered firm will be presenting these rubber chemicals for the rubber processing industry at K2019, taking place in Düsseldorf from October 16 to 23.

The Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit (AII), offers most of these products as granules, which can be dosed easily and safely with very little dust, says Lanxess.

The antiozonant Vulkazon AFS, used in the production of latex, natural and synthetic rubbers, will be the focus at K2019. It effectively prevents ozone cracking and does not lead to staining. This makes the granules ideal for use in chloroprene-rubber-based products such as automotive components and aquatic wear as well as in the production of protective clothing with highly resistant, impermeable barrier layers. 

Ozone is one of the most powerful oxidants, attacking most organic compounds, including elastomer materials. The service life and product quality of these materials can be easily influenced by relatively low exposure to ozone. UV radiation from the sun, electrical discharge from machinery or industry as well as nitrogen oxide in polluted air all contribute to the formation of ozone. 

The most significant and widely used antiozonant worldwide is substituted paraphenylenediamine (PPD). However, this substance can stain vulcanised rubber, so it is only used for black rubber products and not white or coloured ones. Vulkazon AFS is said to be an effective, non-staining alternative for applications in which colour and design play a major role.

“Our additive makes a significant contribution to the development of coloured rubber products, as it does not affect the desired colour shade and gives designers of technical rubber goods free rein for colour design,” explains Melanie Wiedemeier-Jarad, Technical Service Manager in the Antioxidants & Accelerators (AXX) business line at AII.

The degradation processes, most of which are triggered by the effects of oxygen, ozone and heat, alter the properties of vulcanized rubber and can result in their partial or complete disintegration over time.

“We will be presenting our comprehensive range of high-performance rubber chemicals at the plastics trade show,” says Dr. Jens-Hendrik Fischer, head of the AXX business line. “These include the Vulkanox antioxidants, Vulkazon antiozonants and Vulkacit vulcanization accelerators. Lanxess is one of the few manufacturers to offer the right additive for all stages of rubber production from a single source.”

Lanxess markets the antioxidant TMQ (2,2,4-Trimethyl-1,2-dihydroquinoline) under the trade name Vulkanox HS for the production of tyres and heavy-duty technical rubber goods.

To manufacture this rubber chemical, Lanxess says it has expanded the capacities of its world-class facilities at its sites in Brunsbuettel, Germany, and Jhagadia, India, to support the growth of its customers.