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Improving Productivity

New NdPBR grades: a breakthrough that bridge the gap between processability and superior properties

LANXESS has officially launched two new easy processing neodymium polybutadiene (NdPBR) rubber grades to ease the production of for example, fuel-efficient tires. Buna® Nd 22 EZ and Buna® Nd 24 EZ are among others characterized by high molar masses necessary to fabricate tires with outstanding low rolling resistance, but are still exceptionally easy to process due to new LANXESS rubber modification technology. Hence these new modified NdPBR grades represent attractive alternatives for the high performance NdPBR Buna® CB22 and Buna® CB24 rubbers already widely applied in the tire industry. Both grades are now available in sample- and industrial size.

Key properties

One of the key properties of these rubbers is their narrow polydispersity which leads to higher molar mass. “The higher a rubber’s molar mass, the lower can be the tire‘s rolling resistance,” explains Grub. “So, high molecular weight NdPBR is superior to –other PBR types with broader polydispersity in key properties such as rolling resistance and abrasion However, high molar masses until now were correlated with high Mooney viscosities, presenting a crucial hurdle to overcome in order to get the best performance out of regular high performance NdPBR rubbers.

The processability of these high molecular weight polymers has been the key issue for years – and an important challenge for us to help our customers. For those who have long mastered to utilize the most sophisticated high molecular weight polymers, the new materials may provide an opportunity to gain productivity. Now we can offer our customers a promising solution utilizing new LANXESS rubber modification technology.“

New NdPBR grades

In technical terms, the modification scheme of the new NdPBR grades Buna® Nd 22 EZ and Buna® Nd 24 EZ is designed to create long chain branching, which accelerates the fast and reliable incorporation of fillers into the rubber matrix and improves processing. In addition, a proprietary chemical modification of the chains enhances the rubber/filler interaction, especially with carbon black in sidewall compounds maintaining the dynamic performance of the tires made with the new grades at the high level of LANXESS standard NdPBR grades.

NdPBR is rarely used on its own but in blends with other polymers particularly solution SBR in tire tread formulations using silica as the filler. It has been shown that the modification also enhances the inter polymer phase distribution. This will lead to improved distribution of the filler in the resultant compound. In addition, the LANXESS rubber experts have achieved a significant increase in the rubber’s tackiness on the mill – without adding any processing aids. 

For more technical information visit our Global Techcenter of the Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit.

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