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The Need for Green Plasticizers in Adhesives and Sealants

SpecialChem / Edward M. Petrie & Edward Petrie – May 23, 2011

This reviews the requirements for plasticizers in adhesive and sealant formulations and identifies problems that result from conventional plasticizers. The article will then examine the development trends toward green plasticizers and recognize new materials that have been or are about to be commercialized. Extensive research is going on to find alternative plasticizers for medical and other commodity plastics. Several alternatives have been suggested which may eventually find their way into adhesive and sealant formulations. Some of these will offer better compatibility with certain polymers and some will show less migration and leaching tendency. However, the major driving factors for developing alternative plasticizers is greater sustainability through (1) reduced toxicity and (2) the elimination of the use of environmentally harmful raw materials. If successful, these new materials can certainly be considered "green".

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