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Auto sector gets a boost with bio-based TPVs

TPVs-using-Keltan-Eco-EPDM

The automotive sector has been given a sustainability boost with new thermoplastic vulcanisate (TPV) grades that feature bio-based EPDM.

Netherlands-headquartered synthetic rubber supplier Arlanxeo says its latest thermoplastic vulcanisates (TPVs) combine its Keltan Eco EPDM, said to be the world’s first bio-based EPDM, with green fillers, plasticisers and thermoplastics, resulting in EPDM products with up to 90% sustainable ingredients.

Keltan Eco is manufactured using bio-based ethylene extracted from sugarcane. Depending on the ethylene content of each rubber grade, the proportion of bio-based material ranges between 50% and 70%.

Already, these new bio-based EPDM grades have been commercially tested and used in applications, such as window profiles for busses and buildings, automotive extrusion profiles, O-rings, TPV over-mouldings for automotive interior, pharma applications, sport surfaces, and, most recently, in the sponge rubber layer directly underneath the outer cover of the official soccer ball of the Soccer World Cup 2018.

After evaluating the potential of creating sustainable alternatives for traditional polyolefin thermoplastics, plasticiser oils and (reinforcing) fillers, Arlanxeo moved a step further to develop thermoset rubber compounds and TPVs based on Keltan Eco EPDM with the specific aim of maximising sustainable content without compromising technical performance.

By combining Keltan Eco EPDM with green compounding ingredients the new EPDM compounds can also be used for dynamic and static automotive sealing applications with 85 to 90 weight percent of its composition having sustainable origin and a technical performance comparable to standard EPDM compounds.

Niels van der Aar, Business Development Manager EPDM/NBR at Arlanxeo said: “We can now identify potential partners to (co-)develop these innovative bio-TPVs. TPVs using Keltan Eco EPDM offer an excellent opportunity to replace regular thermoset rubber compounds and thermoplastic vulcanisates. These bio-based TPVs can make a significant contribution to the circular economy, scoring well in a cradle-to-cradle approach and helping to lower the carbon footprint.”

The company says that studies have shown that both the characteristics and technical performance of these Keltan Eco EPDM grades are identical to those of conventional EPDMs produced via Ziegler Natta catalysis and/or those from monomers based on crude oil.

(IMA)


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