Rubber is one of man’s most versatile materials, but it doesn’t have an unlimited lifespan – it can degrade over time due to exposure to oxygen, sunlight and other environmental factors. To boost the longevity of rubber materials, many industries are turning to active agents – chemicals that are designed to increase the strength and elastic yield of rubber. Here, we take a look at the science behind rejuvenating rubber and how active agents work.
Why Add Active Agents?
Rubber has countless uses, from medical items to garden hoses. But one thing remains true: all rubber will suffer degradation over time. Adding active agents to rubber helps to reduce the degradation process. This means that the longevity of rubber materials increases, with products enjoying a higher level of performance and resilience. Depending on the situation, active agents can also help to reduce the cost of production by improving the performance of rubber products.
How Do Active Agents Work?
Active agents are usually weak organic acids or other small molecules that are added to rubber to make it more resilient. The active agents penetrate into the rubber matrix and interact with the polymers to modify their behaviour, leading to enhanced physical and chemical properties implemented in the rubber.
The Benefits of Active Agents
Using active agents offers many benefits to industries who rely on rubber products. Here are a few of the key advantages of rejuvenating rubber with active agents:
- Increased lifespan – products that are treated with active agents last longer than untreated rubber.
- Improved performance – by secondarily altering the chemical and physical characteristics of rubber, active agents can enhance the performance of products, resulting in reduced noise, improved flexibility and longer product life.
- environmental protection – by increasing the performance of rubber, active agents lessen the need for frequent replacement of rubber products, which reduces waste and helps to protect the environment.
Active agents are becoming an increasingly popular way to help rejuvenate rubber and improve the performance of products. However, it’s important to ensure that you find the right type of active agent to suit your needs and that you use it responsibly.