Lanxess introduces SSBR products

Buna FX 3234A-2 HM is a functionalised SSBR grade whose improved polymer/filler interaction in the tread mix reduces hysteresis and thus rolling resistance. Diagram: Lanxess AG

The recently-formed Lanxess Tire & Specialty Rubbers business unit is introducing two new SSBR products, Buna FX 3234A-2HM and Buna VSL 3038-2HM. Both were developed as alternatives to Buna VSL 2438-2HM, a substance currently widely used in the tyre industry, and aim to offer tyre manufacturers greater options for producing low rolling resistance tyres.

Buna FX 3234A-2HM is the first rubber product in Lanxess’ new Buna FX family, and is to be followed by other additions. Lanxess claims that improvements have been made in the polymer/filler interaction in the tread mix of this grade of functionalised SSBR, and this improves rolling resistance. The specialty chemicals manufacturer also reports an improvement in grip. The product’s glass transition temperature Tg is -30 °C. Lanxess says it is now also is investigating other technologies for functionalising rubber to further enhance the properties of these mixes.

The second new rubber grade, Buna VSL 3038-2HM, expands the existing Buna VSL family. It is an oil-extended SSBR with a 38 per cent styrene content and 30 per cent vinyl content. Its glass transition temperature Tg is 6 °C higher at -26 °C, meaning it can provide better grip properties without compromising on rolling resistance. According to the manufacturer, better grip can also be exploited to reduce tread wear achieving outstanding friction coefficients at the same time. The higher glass transition temperature of Buna VSL 3038-2HM makes it possible, for example, to add more NdBR to the compound, such as Buna CB 24, and thus raise the friction coefficients to a level comparable to that of Buna VSL 2438-2HM or Buna VSL 5025-2HM. Tread wear resistance is said to increase significantly as a result.

After the addition of 37.5 phr TDAE oil, Buna FX 3234A-2HM and Buna VSL 3038-2HM display a Mooney viscosity of 80 MU – a high value that ensures excellent abrasion resistance. The high styrene content of 34 or 38 per cent promotes high dynamic stiffness, making these rubber products well-suited for high-performance summer tyres.

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