BRUSSELS, Belgium—The SafeRubber research consortium has come up with a safer alternative accelerator to ethylene thiourea for the vulcanization of chloroprene rubber.
The consortium said it has developed a new molecule, codenamed SRM102, which it cites as a suitable candidate to replace ETU in compounding, cable manufacturing, profile extrusion and compression molding of chloroprene rubber. SafeRubber has tested compounds containing SRM102 in a range of industrial processes at five factories in three countries.
In every case SRM102 has equaled or shown an improvement on compounds containing ETU. It has proved itself to be a technically and commercially viable replacement for ETU as an accelerator, said Geert Scheys, secretary general of the Belgian Association of Manufacturers of Plastic and Rubber Products.
Quantitative structure-activity relationship modeling already has indicated SRM102 to be a safer alternative to ETU, but the new accelerator molecule has still to undergo further evaluation of its compliance with European REACH requirements.
The SafeRubber project received funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Program, managed by the EC's Research Executive Agency.