LOUISVILLE, Ky.—New technologies and global trends are pushing the rubber industry to adapt. Every step of the way, Lord Corp. plans to change right along with it, introducing new products designed to drive further growth and development.
During the ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference, held recently in Louisville, Lord introduced four of its newest products, each targeting a different application.
"What we have found over the years is that our customers have become more focused on customizing their processes," said Karen Sy-Laughner, Lord's global market manager. "Even if they start with the same type of rubber on a general scale, they start blending and their applications become more specialized. So then we, as a company, have started to focus on 'OK, what can we do to actually help with the customers' processes to make them more efficient and to make them better match the types of applications they have.' "
Lord's answer came in the form of four new Chemlok products: Chemlok 6224, Chemlok 6271, Chemlok 6258 and Chemlok 6150.
Chemlok 6224, the company said, is intended to be an alternative to the popular Chemlok 220. The new product offers excellent pre-bake resistance, Lord said, and it retains adhesion even when parts are exposed to temperatures of 160°C for 10-15 minutes.
Chemlok 6271, meanwhile, demonstrates low mold fouling solution, Lord said, noting that the number of times a mold needs to be cleaned between process runs is reduced with the use of the new product. The company said 6271 also shows strong pre-bake resistance at temperatures of 170°C, and it demonstrates high adhesion to EPDM.
For applications requiring a combination of strong adhesion with high fatigue resistance and high tensile strength, Lord introduced Chemlok 6258.
The firm also rolled out a one-coat adhesive, Chemlok 6150, which bonds a broad range of elastomers—natural rubber, polyisoprene, SBR, polybutadiene, polychloroprene, nitrile, butyl, EPDM and polyepichlorohydrin polymers—to a variety of metals. These metals include carbon and alloy steels; stainless steel; aluminum; copper and copper alloys; magnesium; and zinc.
What makes Chemlok 6150 so unique, Sy-Laughner said, is the fact that it was designed without the incorporation of heavy metals.
"Everyone wants to be a little bit more responsible globally," Sy-Laughner said, "and we believe we have developed products that will match their increased need for performance as well as taking out the heavy metals."
All of the new Chemlok products primarily will be made at the company's facility in Erie, Pa., at least to start. Once they have been established, and Lord sees demand from other regions around the globe, it will begin producing the Chemlok products at other manufacturing sites.
Adding the new products to the manufacturing mix won't require any new investments at any facilities, according to Sy-Laughner, who notes that Lord is continually investing in its products and production sites.
"We have what we call constant capital investments," she said. "We actually make investments all of the time and the capital investments always include not just upgrading the equipment or the processes, but we actually invest tremendously in our people as well. We are always looking to bring up new talent and young talent as well to develop them.
"So where other companies in our sphere may invest when they have a new product, for us, it is a concept of continuous improvement, so we are investing every day into better processes, training people and developing new products. That is a big deal for us."