Patents associated with the additives cover the processing method, the use of nanoparticles in rubber mixtures, and the impact on thermoplastics and thermoset plastics. The Technical Rubber Products business unit markets these nanoscale particles under the trademark Nanoprene, while Lanxess subsidiary Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH sells the additive under the brand name Micromorph. The first major series application is at Japanese tire manufacturer Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., which is using them to give better grip to this season’s winter tires.
Nanoprene consists of pre-crosslinked rubber manufactured in an emulsion process that helps the supplier control the degree of crosslinking (glass transition temperature) or polarity of the particles, so that these can be tailored depending on the application. Particle sizes range between 40-200 nanometers. The additive, available as a granulate, powder, paste, and as a masterbatch, processes like other elastomers. —[email protected]