MAASTRICHT, Netherlands—Arlanxeo's High Performance Elastomers and Tire and Specialty Rubbers business units will present a wide range of "sporting" rubbers at the DKT 2018 rubber conference in Nuremberg, Germany, July 2-5.
"Our rubbers are perfect for complex applications in sports," said Juergen Gunther, head of global sales in the HPE business unit at Arlanxeo. "In soccer, for example, they enable accurate shooting, while they cushion impact in running shoes and protect against cold in diving suits."
The company's materials are used in many types of sports, including its Keltan Eco in the official match ball of the football World Cup in Russia. A layer of Keltan Eco foam rubber is used beneath the exterior of soccer balls to ensure optimal bounce. Butyl rubber from the company's TSR unit also is used as a gas-impermeable ball-bladder material.
Squash balls comprise a significant part of butyl rubber leading to a high level of elasticity, while golf balls use butadiene rubbers embedded in the hard rubber core to enhance flight characteristics.
"The demands are extremely high here," says Hans Joris, global marketing director non-tire at TSR. "We have special processes in place to ensure that we meet all the demands."
The right footwear is particularly important for long-distance runners: the rubber mix in the soles of running shoes must ensure good cushioning, optimal grip, and durability.
For example, neodymium-butadiene rubbers and styrene-butadiene rubbers from the Buna brand are used, as well as the butyl rubber X_Butyl, the ethylene vinyl acetate rubber Levapren and the nitrile butadiene rubbers Krynac and Perbunan.
Rubbers from Arlanxeo also provide robust, flexible soles ideal for trekking and hiking shoes. The firm's buna emulsion styrene butadiene rubber and butadiene styrene copolymer are used in the manufacturing of flip-flops, due in part to its durability and ability to retain color.
Beyond function, Arlanxeo materials can help keep athletes safe. Its ethylene vinyl acetate synthetic rubber Levapren can be fashioned into protective pads of soft foam, for use in helmets and in elbow and knee pads. These are used to protect football players, hockey players, and cyclists in the case of falls and heavy impact.
Motorcyclists also use special protective clothing reinforced with Levapren.
Orthopedic bandages with Baypren chloroprene rubber from Arlanxeo provide support for injured elbows, wrists, and knees. This rubber also ensures that the joints remain mobile while giving them sufficient support to heal.
Baypren also has a range of applications relating to water sports. For example, it can be used to produce diving suits, booties, diving hoods, and gloves that help to provide insulation.
Sun and saltwater have little effect on Baypren, which makes it suitable for water sports such as surfing or windsurfing.
"We offer Baypren in various forms, with many different types of applications," says Heiner Stange, head of technical marketing at the business area CR/EVM. "Our sulfurous forms are particularly suitable for water sports, as they are extremely tear-resistant."
Arlanxeo rubbers also are used in many other sporting applications from track and sports field surfaces to grips for golf clubs, coverings for table tennis bats, and bicycle tires.
"Depending on the application, we develop custom solutions for our customers," Gunther said.