Lanxess showcases smart solutions for the tyre industry at TTE 2019
Lanxess Stand 4014
Lanxess is showcasing its extensive range of products and versatile solutions for manufacturing tyres at the Tire Technology Expo (TTE) 2019. These include environmentally friendly Rhenodiv release agents, Rhenomark tyre marking paints, Rhenoshape tyre vulcanisation bladders, Rhenogran aramid-fibre masterbatches, additives, accelerators and antidegradants. The company is represented at the event by its Rhein Chemie and Advanced Industrial Intermediates business units.
“With our wide range of rubber additives, we offer high-quality, clean and, above all, environmentally friendly solutions for meeting the ever more challenging requirements of the tyre industry,” commented Dr. Dietmar Hoff, head of Tire Marketing for the Rhein Chemie business unit. “Our products make a major contribution to the complex processes involved in tyre manufacturing, from the provision of high-performance additives for compounding to additives for tyre testing.”
Solutions for smart tyres
According to Lanxess, in the production of “smart” tyres and with low-noise and self-sealing tyres, it is essential that the release agents applied or transferred to the blank are removed entirely after vulcanisation. This ensures that the polymers, foams or sensors applied subsequently will adhere properly. Such sensors can transmit data such as tyre pressure, temperature or tread depth, and can also pass on relevant alerts to drivers or fleet operators. This improves safety considerably and helps to prevent damage to the tyres.
In addition to products containing silicone, such as Rhenodiv BP-286 and Rhenodiv BP-2864, which are removed by means of laser technology after the tyres have been vulcanised, Lanxess has developed completely silicone-free products such as Rhenodiv BP-166 and Rhenodiv BP-9500. A special type of release agent makes these even easier to wash off.
Permanently coated Rhenoshape bladders enable tyre manufacturers to vulcanise tyres with no additional release agents, eliminating the need to clean the vulcanised tyres. Since the spraying process for tyre blanks is no longer necessary, no contamination can occur – neither in critical tyre areas nor at the workplace.
RFID technology for bladders
Rhein Chemie is introducing RFID technology for bladders to improve traceability at its production sites. This involves fitting bladders with RFID tags containing information such as model name, production batch and date of manufacture. This helps to avert errors in allocating the bladders later in the process and makes them easier for customers to identify. It is also possible to make the information stored on the RFID chip available to the tyre manufacturer. If a bladder is replaced in the tyre press, the relevant information for the new bladder can be read using an RFID reader and linked to the curing press. This prevents mistakes such as failure to reset the cycle counter. It also makes it possible to track which tyre has been cured with which bladder – information that is still not always available at present.
Nitrogen-free accelerators and reinforcement options for tyres
Dithiophosphates – including Rhenogran TP-50 and Rhenogran SDT-50 – are nitrogen-free accelerators that can replace conventional sulfenamide, thiuram and carbamate accelerators. Their advantage is that they mainly form monosulfide and disulfide cross-links, which are more thermally stable and less susceptible to reversion. In addition, their good solubility enables them to be used in all common types of rubber. Rhein Chemie offers dithiophosphates not only as masterbatches under the Rhenogran brand, but also as liquid and dry liquid under the Rhenocure brand.
Rhein Chemie offers an outstanding solution for tyres exposed to high mechanical and thermal loads in the form of the Rhenogran P91-40 series. This involves highly reinforced aramid-fibre masterbatches that can be incorporated evenly into the rubber compound. Rhenogran P91-40 is suitable for use not only in typical tyre polymers such as NR, IR, BR and SBR, but also for many other types of rubber such as EPDM, CR and NBR.
The Rhein Chemie business unit supplies the rubber industry with a broad portfolio of pre-dispersed polymer-bound additives, processing promoters, vulcanisation and filler activators, light protection waxes, release agents, tyre marking paints and high-performance curing bladders.
Antioxidants and antiozonants for extended lifespans
Among the key products that Lanxess is presenting at the Tire Technology Expo 2019 are antioxidants, as rubber must be individually protected against ageing based on its respective use. The Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit also offers the rubber industry an extensive range of antioxidants and antiozonants that can be metered and processed easily, safely and with very little dust. These can be combined with one another to further improve the distinct effective range of each particular additive.
Every antioxidant and antiozonant features a typical effective range in terms of the various types of ageing. Depending on chemical structure, they counteract one or more of the degradation processes. With its Vulkanox, Vulkacit, Vulkazon and Renacit brands, Lanxess said it is one of the few manufacturers to offer the right additives for all stages of rubber production from a single source.
Preventing material deterioration
Ageing processes, most of which are triggered by the effects of oxygen, ozone and heat, alter the properties of vulcanised rubber and can result in its partial or complete deterioration over time. The Vulkanox antioxidants and Vulkazon antiozonants from Lanxess extend the lifespans of elastomers by significant margins. This helps tyres to maintain their characteristics and remain in service for longer.
In addition to antidegradants, the company offers vulcanisation accelerators from the Vulkacit series. The sulfenamides and thiazoles are among the most significant accelerators in the rubber industry, said the company. They affect both the speed of the cross-linking reaction and the physical properties of the vulcanised products.