KIYOSU, Japan—Toyoda Gosei Co. and the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo, have developed a material crosslinking technology that enhances the toughness of synthetic rubber.
The technology can increase the toughness of EPDM rubber approximately six-fold through integrating a polyrotaxane into the chemical structure of the rubber, Toyoda Gosei said in a Nov. 20 statement.
In addition, polyrotaxanes have a unique molecular structure that enables great material flexibility, the Japanese group added.
The technology, according to Toyoda Gosei, creates "freely movable ring-shaped molecules" which ease the stress and enhance the toughness and flexibility of the rubber when stretched or pressed.
Toyoda Gosei said it will continue to develop the technology for various practical applications in rubber and plastic parts.
In particular, the components maker expects to use the knowhow in automotive materials technology "for better environmental performance and comfort of vehicles."
Toyoda Gosei and the University of Tokyo presented the results of their project at the 29th Polymer Material Forum, which was held virtually Nov. 26-27.