Staying relevant in a changing industry

In previous Rubber World columns, I have discussed the reintroduction of the manufacture of latex gloves back into the U.S. after a 25 year absence. During those years, in Southeast Asia, there have been significant, evolutionary improvements to the equipment, processing, formulations, and the latex itself. The challenge we face is to develop a competitive, sustainable manufacturing capability in the U.S., utilizing some of the personnel who were involved in glove manufacturing years ago, and merging their experience with new ways of thinking and problem solving.

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EMI silicone now part of U.S. Department of Defense qualified products list

Specialty Silicone Products (SSP) announced that SSP-2569-65, an EMI silicone filled with silver-copper particles, is now part of the Qualified Product List (QPL) for MIL-DTL-83528, Type A. In a July 22 letter, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) informed SSP that SSP-2569-65, a 65 durometer conductive elastomer for shielding and sealing, passed qualification testing and has been added to QPL MIL-DTL-83528 for specific drawings and material types.

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Functionalized liquid rubber for tire formulations

Plasticizers are one of the key components of the rubber and adhesives industries. Plasticizers are used to lower hardness, improve processability and reduce raw material costs. On the other hand, mechanical properties deteriorate with plasticizer content. In addition, plasticizers often cause changes in properties with time and staining due to volatilization or bleeding. Phthalate plasticizers and aromatic oils are or possibly will be regulated due to environmental and human health issues. Kuraray liquid rubbers (KLR) are plasticizers which are co-vulcanizable with solid rubbers. Therefore, it is very unlikely that KLR will be subject to these bleeding or volatilization issues. As a result, KLR is expected to have a growth potential as an environmentally friendly plasticizer.

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