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US6221965B1 - Method for producing a thermoplastic elastomer material - Google Patents
For example homopolymers of ethylene or propylene, copolymers of ethylene and propylene, copolymers of ethylene and an alpha-olef in with carbon atoms or copolymers of propylene and an alpha-olef in with carbon atoms may be used. Preferably, a homopolymer of propylene is used. Most preferably, EPDM is used as vulcanizable rubber. The EPDM preferably contains parts by weight ethylene monomer units, parts by weight monomer units originating from an alpha-olef in and parts by weight monomer units originating from a non-conjugated diene.
As alpha-olefin use is preferably made of propylene. The vulcanizable rubber is at least partially vulcanized. Those ordinarily skilled in the art will appropriate quantities, types of curing agents and vulcanization conditions required to carry out the vulcanization of the rubber. The vulcanizable rubber can be vulcanized using varying amounts of curing agent, varying temperatures and varying time of vulcanization as long as the conditions of the process according to the present invention are fullfilled.
Curing agents, accelerators and co-agents are known to the skilled person and are for example described in US-A It is also possible to use siloxane compounds as curing agent, for example hydrosilane or vinylalkoxysilane. The vulcanizable rubber is preferably vulcanized with the aid of phenol resins, siloxanes or peroxides as curing agent. The invention also relates to the dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomer obtainable by the process of the present invention. The degree of vulcanization of the dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomer can be expressed in terms of gel content or conversely, extractable components.
Gel content reported as percent gel is determined by a procedure which comprises determining the amount of insoluble polymer by soaking a specimen of the thermoplastic elastomer for 48 hours in organic solvent at room temperature and then weighting the dried residue and making suitable corrections based upon knowledge of the composition. Thus corrected initial and final weights are obtained by substracting from the initial weight, the weight of soluble components, other than the rubber to be vulcanized, for example extender oils, plasticizers and components of the compositions soluble in organic solvent.
The expression is well known in the art and described in US- A The dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomer according to the present invention optionally comprises other customary additives which may be compounded. Examples of such additives are reinforcing and non-reinforcing fillers, plasticizers, antioxidants, rubber processing oil, extender oils, lubricants, antiblocking agents, antistatic agents, waxes, foaming agents, pigments, flame retardants and other processing aids known in the rubber compounding art.
Examples of fillers that may be used are calcium carbonate, clays, silica, talc, titanium dioxide, carbon or mixtures of any of these. Examples of rubber processing oils that may be used are paraffinic, naphthenic or aromatic oil derived from petroleum fractions or mixtures of any of these. In the process of the present invention the thermoplastic polyolefine, the vulcanizable rubber, the curing agent and the customary additives may, all and in whole, be fed into the entry port of the extruder.
It is also possible that one or more of the thermoplastic polyolefine, the vulcanizable rubber, the curing agent or the additives are fed in whole or in part at a place downstream in the extruder.
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If the thermoplastic polyolefine, the vulcanizable rubber, the curing agent and the customary additives are fed at different places, the vulcanizable rubber and a part of the thermoplastic polyolefine are dosed in the entry port of the extruder together with the additives and mixed. After the vulcanizable rubber, the thermoplastic polyolefine and the additives have been properly dispersed, the curing agent and additional thermoplastic polyolefine may be added.
It is also possible to add additional extender oil, plasticizer, colorants, thermoplastic polyolefine or curing agent at another entry port located in about the middle of the extruder. The present invention further relates to the use of the dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomer in sealing systems, building profiles or extrusion applications.
The present invention also relates to articles comprising the dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomer. These articles may be applied in cars, equipment and constructions. Examples hereof are airbag covers, fuel lines, hoses, dashboard foils, spoilers, mud flaps, seals, boots and strips.
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) vs. Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)
The invention will be elucidated by means of the following examples and comparative experiments without being limited thereto. The throughput was varying from. All the indicated raw materials were added on a hopper except 40 parts of oil which were injected in the extruder, after the dynamic vulcanization had been started. The properties of the dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomers were analysed on injection moulded parts. Different properties were analysed;. The diffuse reflectance from the surface is measured by filling a cup with pellets and the measurements taken when the instrument looks up into the cup from the bottom surface.
Thermoplastic Elastomers: a Comprehensive Review , Ed. Legge, G. Holden, and H. Schroeder Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, Google Scholar. Naderi, P.
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Rubber technology - Wikipedia
Ramarad, M. Khalid, C. Ratnam, A. Luqman Chuah, and W. Rashmi, Prog. Nakason, M. Jarnthong, A. Kaesaman, and S. Kiatkamjornwong, Polym.
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