The new product is the latest addition to the group's line of Nychem® latex emulsions and further expands the range of offerings into new application areas. Nychem® Poly4000 is the softest polymer in the product line and can be used to modify the impact resistance of more brittle engineered thermoplastics, a new end-use application, and enhance low-temperature performance in applications such as adhesives.
Historically, Nychem products have been used as saturants and in specialty coatings to improve the strength, abrasion and chemical resistance, as well as other performance characteristics of paper, non-woven and textile and industrial coatings. The company also provides the well-known line of Hypro® 100% reactive liquid polymers (RLPs) to enhance toughening and impact resistance of thermoset systems that are often used in structural adhesives, high-performance composites and industrial maintenance coatings.
"In the new plastics modification application, Nychem Poly4000 acts similar to a shock absorber when used in a matrix of a more brittle polymer, diffusing stresses that can lead to cracking and failure. The latex may also be used to produce a core shell polymer," said Jeffrey Mathys, Ph.D., R&D manager for Emerald Specialty Polymers. "For these applications, Nychem® Poly4000 was optimized with a consistent particle size for greater control and latitude in engineering the polymer."
Once impact-modified polymers have been synthesized with a Nychem Poly4000 butadiene rubber core, manufacturers can incorporate these materials into end uses such as thermoplastic elastomers, impact resistant plastics, hydrogels and other high-impact end uses. Nychem® Poly4000 is also suitable for use in transparent materials.
According to Mathys, Emerald Specialty Polymers will continue to work with customers to explore and refine polymer properties using the business's pilot-scale plant that was installed in 2013 at its ISO 9001-certified facility in Akron, Ohio. This will allow the group to continue tailoring the performance of Nychem® Poly4000 for the needs of specific end uses, including specialty latex adhesives, which must exhibit characteristics such as high adhesive strength, low- temperature performance, oil and solvent resistance, and good adhesion to various substrates common to applications such as construction.
Emerald’s Nychem® specialty emulsions are used in a variety of industrial applications, including paper, abrasives, tape, adhesives, specialty coatings, coated fabrics, coal tar sealing binders and leather. For many decades, the line was sold under the Hycar brand, which was one of the first synthetic latex offerings, known for its quality and superior technology foundation. Emerald rebranded the product line following the divestiture of the business from its predecessor company.
Today, Nychem® products include nitrile, SB and ABS latex emulsions that provide a combination of properties superior to other polymers and that perform well in tough end-use environments. They offer superior grease, oil, fat and solvent resistance. They are also abrasion- and caustic-resistant, yet soft, elastic and resilient. Their performance features can be further enhanced through vulcanization and, in some cases, cross-linked through heat-reactive or carboxyl functional groups present in certain products.