The rubber industry is constantly innovating with new materials and technologies as it seeks to improve the performance, qualities and production capabilities of materials used in tires, seals and other rubber components. In recent years, breakthroughs in the development and use of processing aids have made a significant impact. With their use, the industry is unlocking new opportunities for advancements in manufacturing processes and product performance.
What is a Processing Aid?
Processing aids are substances that are added to a rubber formulation to impart specific properties during the manufacturing process. These aids play a key role in the compounding, mixing and vulcanization of the rubber composition, and are typically designed with a range of capabilities, including:
- Improving rose compound viscosity
- Improving mixing quality
- Increasing the speed of compounding operations
- Reducing temperature buildup during mixing
- Preventing adhesion to the equipment used
- Modifying a molded rubber part’s surface properties
Besides a range of industrial applications and benefits, processing aids can also increase the production of elastomers while maintaining compatible safety standards for the final product.
Innovations in Processing Aids
Innovation within rubber technology is pushing the boundaries of what was once thought possible – and processing aids are no exception. Through research and development, new compound-specific processing aids have been developed offering unique capabilities and environmental benefits.
- Wax-base processing aids are used to promote smooth mixing and reduce the adhesiveness of rubber to the equipment used. These aids are made up of carbon and hydrocarbons, and offer excellent lubrication properties, while having virtually no effect on the target material.
- Organomodified silicones are excellent processing aids offering a variety of physical properties, including temperature stability and dielectric constant stability. These materials are unique, oxidation-stable and are often the material of choice when special performance characteristics are required.
With innovations in rubber processing aids, the products can offer a competitive advantage within the automotive and transportation industries. Countless industries are already seeing the benefits of new and improved processing aids being developed in order to reduce costs, improve performance and increase the quality of components used. With continued investments and research in the field of rubber technologies, the industry is well on its way to further revolutionizing the production of rubber products.