Lanxess focuses on rubber additives for sustainable tyre production

Lanxess focuses on rubber additives for sustainable tyre productionIn order to meet the sustainability targets of the tyre manufacturers – namely, to produce completely “green” tyres by 2050 – specialty chemicals company Lanxess adds it offers the first sustainable antidegradant for rubber compounds. Over 50% of the contents of the additive TMQ will be based on sustainable raw materials. In the case of TMQ, ISCC Plus certification (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) demonstrates that the criteria for reliable balancing are met and correctly applied.

The facility at the production plant in Brunsbuettel, where Lanxess produces the antidegradant, will be certified within the year 2024. This means that tyre manufacturers can use the sustainable TMQ variant, which is fully equivalent to its conventional counterpart in terms of its properties, without the need for fresh approval.

Antidegradants are chemicals that protect the vulcanisates from harmful external influences. They counteract degradation processes caused by oxygen or heat that change the properties of the vulcanisates. Over time, processes such as depolymerisation, fatigue, embrittlement, cracking, and even decomposition can occur, resulting in fundamental damage to the tyre.

Lanxess says it will demonstrate how tyre manufacturers can reduce their ecological footprint during production as well as that of the end product, through its range of additives and solutions, at Tire Technology Expo 2024 in Hanover, Germany, to be held 19-21 March.

Other examples of its offerings are for rubber manufacturing, where rubber sheets are dipped into “batch-off” liquids to prevent the sheets from sticking together when they are folded for storage. Rhenodiv BO-3300 Pearls is the solution for a dust-free batch-off process which also minimises the need for cleaning the production equipment. In tire manufacturing, release agents ensure a smooth moulding process.

The process essentially involves placing the unvulcanised tyre in the press, vulcanisation, and then removing it from the press. To ensure the adhesion of sealing layers, noise-reducing foam and air pressure sensors, silicone release agent residue must be completely removed from tyre’s inner surfaces using a laser or chemicals. With silicone-free products, these steps are cleaner and less disruptive. For processors, water-based, silicone-free Rhenodiv release agents from Lanxess therefore contribute to greater cost efficiency and sustainability.

For rubber compounding, Rhenocure DR/S offers a unique formulation of 50% polyethyleneimine absorbed on silica, serving as a versatile secondary accelerator and dispersion aid. Engineered without aromatic moieties, Rhenocure DR/S ensures the absence of toxic byproducts resulting from Rhenocure DR/S during vulcanisation. Its easy dosing, rapid dispersion, and branched polymer structure significantly reduce blooming, streamlining the manufacturing process.

For tyre compounds, Rhenocure DR/S provides exceptional benefits. It acts as a fast secondary accelerator, allowing precise control over crosslinking processes. In silica-filled treads, it enhances silica dispersion, activates silanisation, and mitigates the Payne effect, leading to superior tire performance.

Meanwhile, the Lanxess Rhein Chemie business unit is one of the world’s largest providers of rubber additives and system solutions for the rubber-processing industry. Its range of products comprises an extensive selection of additives that are used in tyre mixtures in particular. These include vulcanising agents and rubber additives in pre-dispersed and other delivery forms, processing accelerators, anti-reversion agents, zinc oxide, antidegradants, and mastication agents. The range of release agents comprises granulated batch-off products, interior spray solutions for single and multiple mold release, and bladder coatings.