In 2010 the SafeRubber project received EC funding under the FP7 framework to develop a new, safe, multifunctional accelerator curative molecule which can replace thiourea-based accelerators e.g.ETU in the vulcanisation process of polychloroprene.
After 3 years of work the The SafeRubber consortium can report that they successful have achieved to identify a safer accelerator molecule.
Norner’s main contribution in the project has been work within Health, Safety and Environment and especially work related to REACH (European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use) and testing for REACH registration, says Principal Researcher Svein Jamtvedt.
Project goals have been reached and deliverables are:
- An IP protectable method for producing polychloroprene rubber, with a safer accelerator than ETU – protecting SMEs (small and medium Enterprises) from the current dominance of large enterprises.
- A significant reduction in the quantities of MgO and ZnO required during vulcanisation, achieved through using a multi-functional accelerator – allowing the SME members compete on cost with Far Eastern suppliers.
- Reduced environmental impact through reduced feedstock (of MgO and ZnO) and effluent hazards associated with the process – further reducing hazards and costs.