There are two main categories of rubber chemicals
Antidegradants, Antioxidants and antiozonants
These chemicals are essential for ensuring the durability of rubber parts by protecting them against oxidation and light.
Without these additives, rubber would be vulnerable to oxygen, heat, UV light & weathering and ozone which can cause substantial changes in the physical properties of the rubber products and can shorten their expected service life.
Rubber chemicals can protect rubber products during the entire phase of the product’s life cycle and effectively increase the life of rubber products.
These products are used in the vulcanisation process where rubber parts acquire the physical properties required for the intended application. They are critical and essential chemicals that define the type of curing network including crosslinking density, length of bonds, speed of reaction or scorch safety. These agents accelerate the sulphur cross-linking reaction (vulcanisation) and impart desired physical properties to rubber products whilst enabling large scale, cost-effective production of rubber products. They are also used in other production processes such as vulcanisation using peroxide or diamine.
Accelerators increase the speed of vulcanisation at lower temperatures and with greater efficiency. Accelerators increase crosslinking density by reducing the sulphur bond length. This typically improves heat resistance and allow for the various properties to be balanced to match the requirements of each application.
Retarders delay the beginning of the reaction avoiding any issues during the process.
Other Rubber Chemicals
There are other types of rubber chemicals such as peptising agents. Natural rubber is masticated to improve processing in a mixer. Rubber chemicals decrease the mastication time and lower the required temperature saving energy.