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The zinc reduction according to EC directives and ecological trends Recipe adaptation and new additives

SpecialChem / May 23, 2007

Originally, the rubbers are independent macromolecular chains with poor characteristics and it's essential to form a 3 D network to link these independent chains to obtain a tougher and more performing material. Curing is often the result of a reaction with sulphur in presence of accelerators and zinc oxide as activator. The following figure 'Role-of-Zinc-Oxide-in-the-Vulcanization' schematizes the action of zinc oxide forming intermediate species favouring the crosslinking. According to the curing system : 1. Links of the 3 D network can be: mono-, di- or poly- sulphides, which lead to different properties. 2. Collateral and damaging reactions such as cyclization or formation of pendent groups can occur... From a technical point of view in the absence of ZnO, the optimum properties cannot be reached and curing productivity is low. Unfortunately Zinc is considered as a hazardous element and is subjected to constraints militating for its ban. There are numerous threats relating to zinc leaching particularly in water wastes.

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