CO2-switchable materials for the rubber industry
Jim Finn, president of Akron Dispersions
Recent developments in stimuli-responsive or “smart” materials offer the opportunity for major advances in material design that could impact markets for latexes. One of the lesser known, but simpler technologies includes polymers and latexes whose properties can be dramatically, and reversibly, switched simply by adding or removing CO2. The processes used offer advantages in sustainability without requiring expensive materials or catalysts, and are based on currently used materials and production methods. This article will give a general overview of three examples relevant to latexes and coatings.