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Tailored Solutions: Focusing on Adhesives That Stick to Their Promises

Published on 2007-07-19. Author : SpecialChem

From applications such as secure bonding of bodywork parts to easily detachable sticky notes, adhesives not only need to bond, but also separate at the right time. This increases the value of adhesive raw materials whose chemical flexibility enables them to be easily adapted to a range of different substrates. With LEVAMELT® ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers, Leverkusen-based chemicals group LANXESS offers this type of product and is driving forward the development of made-to-measure adhesive solutions derived from this synthetic rubber.

In early 2007, the LANXESS rubber technical service center established important testing standards. LEVAMELT® raw material formulations have also helped LANXESS solve the problem of the aging-related increase in the pull-off and peel strengths of many adhesives.

"The market for adhesive raw materials is showing particular promise and the prospects make interesting reading," said Michael Herrmann, adhesives expert in the Technical Rubber Products business unit of LANXESS, the leader in synthetic rubbers. "In 2004, some nine million tons of polymers were used for adhesives around the world. This market is therefore larger than the technical rubber products market where our business unit is enjoying success with high-performance rubbers - though it is much more diversified. However, this opens up considerable possibilities for a product such as LEVAMELT®. We believe we have excellent prospects of winning market share on the specialty products market and providing a better alternative to popular adhesive raw materials."

LEVAMELT® adhesive raw materials yield a range of benefits that make them ideal for use in special applications. For example, the polarity of the rubber can be optimally adapted to the properties of the substrates being bonded by altering the ratio of the vinyl acetate component in the polymer. In particular, the choice of suitable LEVAMELT® grades ensures easy detachability free of residues. Here, the user is not only reliant on the products supplied by LANXESS (with a vinyl acetate content of between 40 and 80 percent), but all LEVAMELT® grades can be mixed with one another with exceptional results. Furthermore, blends can be produced with other polymers that significantly expand the opportunities of traditional adhesive "modular systems."

LEVAMELT® adhesives are ideal for use in detachable stickers or films that protect new cars on their way to the dealer as well as in sheet-metal building cladding to prevent scratching prior to installation.

This innovation required a considerable amount of development input since prolonged storage at high temperatures causes an increase in the shear strength of many conventional adhesives, partly as a result of gradual polymer "flow" into ever finer surface details. Therefore, the force required to remove the film increases.

"We can now counter this challenge with an effective solution - an additive called Mersolat, which ensures even bonding over a significant period of time and at temperatures of up to 120 °C when added to the LEVAMELT® formula in quantities as low as 0.5 percent," added Herrmann. "What is notable is that this additive has been used successfully to reduce static charge in the plastics sector for a long time. This is a classic example of synergy effects that only an experienced rubber manufacturer such as LANXESS can provide."

Additional areas of application where LEVAMELT® can prove advantageous include hot melts, which exhibit a broader service temperature interval due to the EVM with its adjustable and higher glass transition temperatures, or stickers that can be detached after use without leaving a residue. The stickers can also be used several dozen times, which may provide a solution for the advertising industry.

"We are convinced that many challenges in the adhesives sector can be met using LEVAMELT®, and we are structuring and focusing our efforts on harnessing these new opportunities for our customers," said Herrmann.

Tesa AG, the owner of various intellectual property rights relating to self-adhesive protective films, has provided LANXESS a worldwide license to make, use, and sell adhesive material products encompassing the Tesa Technology, as well as the right to pass along these rights to our customers. (A listing of the Tesa Technology is provided below.) The licensing arrangement does NOT include any rights under the Tesa Technology to make, use or sell adhesive material products within the Automotive Sector. The Automotive Sector is understood to mean the field of self-adhesive films for the protection of surfaces in the interior and exterior areas of motor vehicles or their individual components. The Tesa Technology include the following German Patents and Patent Applications and all equivalent foreign patents and patent applications arising from the German Patents and Patent Applications: DE 195 32 220; DE 196 35 704; DE 197 42 805; DE 199 23 780; DE 199 54 700; DE 199 54 701; DE 100 07 060; DE 100 15 708; DE 100 50 499; and DE 101 23 985.

About Lustran Polymers:

Lustran Polymers products are familiar in a wide variety of applications that touch our lives everyday. For example, our Lustran® ABS and SAN products are well recognized and effective in a range of applications such as appliances, house wares, medical devices, telecommunications, truck & bus, and automotives. Triax® (ABS-PA) alloys use proprietary technology to provide an attractive balance of mechanical and thermal properties for innovative applications in electronics, outdoor equipment, power tools, sports and automotive body components. Our Centrex® (ASA, AES and ASA-PC) blends have been proven for more than 20 years in the spa, lawn & garden, and recreational vehicle markets. Centrex® provides a protective cap for PVC construction materials, and Centrex® resins have also incorporated new developments specifically for the construction and marine industry.

The Lustran Polymers business unit is part of the LANXESS Engineering Plastics segment, which achieved sales of EUR 1.737 billion in the 2005 business year.

About LANXESS

LANXESS Corporation was formed when the Bayer Group combined most of its chemical businesses and large segments of its polymer activities. The Company began operating as a legal entity in the United States on July 1, 2004. LANXESS Corporation is a member of the German LANXESS-Group that was spun-off from Bayer in January 2005.

LANXESS manufactures high-quality products in the areas of chemicals, synthetic rubber and plastics. The Company’s portfolio comprises basic and fine chemicals, color pigments, plastics, synthetic rubber and rubber chemicals, leather, material protection products and water treatment products.

In 2006, LANXESS Corporation employed about 1,400 persons in the United States.

Forward-looking statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Source: LANXESS


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