Asahi Kasei to present functionalized HSBR and thermoplastic elastomer solutions at DKT

Düsseldorf, Germany – The Japanese technology company Asahi Kasei will present new high-performance materials for automotive applications at the German Rubber Conference DKT – the leading trade fair for the rubber and elastomer industry in Europe – from July 1-4, 2024, in Nuremberg, Germany.
At the DKT 2024, Asahi Kasei will present its newly developed hydrogenated solution styrene butadiene rubber (HSBR). By applying selective hydrogenation, this material offers a remarkable combination of characteristics, as it retains some of the desirable properties of an SBR, such as good processability and compatibility, while also benefiting from an improved resistance to heat, aging, and chemicals due to the hydrogenation process.
In addition, recent studies show that the functionalized HSBR has the possibility of contributing to reducing the usage of 6PPD, an antioxidant used to protect the polymer from rapid aging. Recent studies have shown that 6PPD can break down into a harmful substance called 6PPD-quinone and upon contact with water, the quinone compound becomes toxic for the environment. Furthermore, hydrogenation also increases the hardness of the rubber, potentially reducing the need for filler materials such as silica or carbon black.
Functionalized and selectively hydrogenated SBR opens a horizon with applications ranging from performance tires to non-tire applications such as belts, hoses, and rubber products that require enhanced durability and performance.
Novel TPE solution for soft touch automotive interior surfaces
Asahi Kasei will present an innovative approach utilizing a tailor designed thermoplastic styrene block copolymer (SEBS) grade for automotive interior surfaces, which require good haptics and soft touch.
Conventional approaches use different materials and production technologies for skin, foam and core layers in automotive instrument panels, door panels, armrests or center consoles. The new SEBS material is suitable for both skin and foam layers, which can be molded in one step by utilizing a core back injection molding process. The connection to the polypropylene (PP)-based core layer is possible in the same or separate injection molding step. The strong chemical bonding between all layers eliminates the need for additional adhesive layers. Asahi Kasei’s new SEBS contributes to reducing the total number of materials, simplifying the manufacturing process, and improving the recyclability of interior components.