Rubber technology is an umbrella term that refers to several methods through which raw rubber is converted into more useful products. One such rubber transformation method is rubber compounding. Rubber compounding is a form of rubber technology that seeks to transform raw rubber into useful products such as tires thus acting as a form of value added to the product.
Overview of rubber compounding:
In order to have a clear understanding of rubber compounding, it is important to first and foremost have a clear understanding of the overview of the compounding process. There are several aspects that must be explained in details and they include:
- l The process of rubber compounding
- l Types of chemical additives used during the compounding process
- l The formula used in rubber compounding
The process of rubber compounding:
The basic process involved in rubber compounding is mixing the rubber with the appropriate products meant to enhance both the physical and chemical attributes of the rubber. One of the most important aspects of any rubber compounding initiative is the process of adding the appropriate chemical additives to the mixture. This process must be undertaken in an incremental fashion whereby the appropriate chemicals are added in small installments up to that point when the mixture is able to attain the required composition. The resultant product is what is referred to as the rubber compound and the process of incremental addition of chemicals into the raw rubber is what is referred to as rubber compounding.
Types of additives:
The second important aspect when it comes to rubber compounding is the type of additive that one might use during the compounding process. It is very important that you are in a position to select the right type of additives for the process. The most preferred and effective rubber compounding additive is the vulcanizing agent. The vulcanizing agent is considered an integral component when it comes to rubber compounding due to the fact that it serves to speed up the overall compounding process. In light of this fact, the vulcanizing agent is also referred to as a compounding accelerator.
In addition to the vulcanizing agents, there are also other important ingredients with respect to the process of rubber compounding. Some of the additional ingredients include fillers, softeners among other additives. Each and every of the rubber compounding agents or additives for that matter play a significant role as far as the overall process is concerned.
It is important to note that rubber compounds are different in terms of both their physical and chemical properties. The nature of the physical or chemical property for that matter directly depends on the methodology that one selects for mixing the additives during the compounding process. You must have the knowledge and an understanding regarding the appropriate quantity of additives to use at each stage of the compounding process. Depending on the nature of the final product, you might be required to use different formulae for mixing the additives. Each formula is specific in terms of the amount of chemical, vulcanizing agent, softener and filler you will be required to add. The formulas are quoted in terms of parts per one hundred units of rubber. The parts per hundreds of units of rubber otherwise referred to as phr is what then determines the overall physical and chemical attributes of the rubber compound.