SOURCE: Lehigh Technologies

October 31, 2007 10:00 ET

Research Proves Novel Thermoplastic Elastomers and Thermoset Compounds Can Be Produced and Manufactured in Large Volumes From Ultra Fine Scrap Tire Rubber

Rubber and Plastics Manufacturers Can Easily Incorporate 105 Through 44 Micron Rubber Powder Into Polymer Alloys

NAPLES, FL--(Marketwire - October 31, 2007) - Lehigh Technologies, Inc., a leading manufacturer of engineered rubber powder, today announced that its flagship PolyDyne recycled rubber powder can be used to create novel thermoplastic and thermoset compounds that can be produced and manufactured in large volumes from ultra fine scrap tire rubber. The small rubber particles in the range of 105 through 44 microns, respectively, offer a much higher surface area providing easier incorporation into polymer alloys, or rubber and plastics, via improved polymer-particle interaction. The research was performed by Carl McAfee of McAfee Consulting, LLC and Mike Grubb, Director of Plastics & Specialty Materials at Lehigh Technologies, Inc.

The ability to reuse scrap tires in polymer applications has been long desired. Efforts have been underway over the past 30 years in many areas including rubber modified asphalt and tire derived fuel. Many of these projects have met with various degrees of success, and they have all been limited by the ultimate particle size of the scrap tire rubber particle. This study shows that incorporating ultra-fine, rubber powder into the manufacture process can further enhance various compatibilization techniques, both reactive and non-reactive. The results of the research were presented at American Chemical Society's Rubber Division's 172nd Technical Meeting and Business Summit held at the Cleveland Convention Center, October 16-18, 2007.

Dr. McAfee added, "This research shows how smaller particle size rubber particles have a very positive effect on physical properties. We have discovered improved physical properties and performance characteristics with the use of active and non-reactive compatibilizers. This is an exciting time for the plastics industry and for companies looking for new ways to find cost savings, without sacrificing performance all while maintaining a foundation for sustainability."

Additionally, these very small rubber particles can be reintroduced back into thermoset rubber applications with little or no loss of performance properties. Physical property, rheological, and dynamic data is presented and discussed for both thermoplastic and thermoset materials at a number of conditions in a designed experiment format.

About Lehigh Technologies, Inc.

Lehigh Technologies provides engineered ultra-fine rubber powder that delivers enhanced performance, cost savings and environmental benefits, at a price point that is affordable and sustainable for low-to-high volume applications. Unlike crumb rubber recyclers and other suppliers in the past, Lehigh produces engineered performance fillers, modifiers and additives, enabling manufacturers across a variety of industries to include rubber powder as a strategic ingredient into their manufacturing process without compromising the integrity of their products. Headquartered in Naples, Florida, the company is privately held and backed by major private equity investors. For more information, please visit www.lehightechnologies.com.

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