Chloroprene rubber (CR) plays an important role in the global economy, with key applications in various industries such as manufacturing, automotive, medical, and consumer goods. CR is mainly used for the production of technical rubber moldings (cables, hoses, belts, tires, etc.), neoprene, and adhesives, including water-based adhesives. In the formulation of water-based adhesives, CR is very popular because of its good adhesive properties and is used in most products today.
In the past, supply shortages have increased due to the limited availability of CR. At the same time, the global demand is increasing, which leaves manufacturers to cope with significant price fluctuations. Additionally, regulations are constantly being tightened. The SIMALFA®-team has therefore expanded its adhesive portfolio with CR-free adhesives that meet current and emerging regulations.
Benefits of CR-free adhesives in comparison to chloroprene rubber (CR) in adhesives
The following three side effects of CR can be eliminated when using a CR-free product:
Unlike CR-based adhesives, CR-free products have outstanding aging properties that eliminate the undesired yellowing of glued seams over time. Especially in the case of visible glued seams or those that are only covered by a light-coloured thin fabric, the yellowing of the seam is no longer an issue.
Upcoming new chemical guidelines regulate the content of chlorine and thus halogens. Depending on the chlorine content in the end product, particularly strict environmental labels cannot be met. It can be assumed that for all relevant environmental labels, the guidelines regarding halogen and chlorine content will become even more restrictive. With CR-free adhesives users are already well prepared for the future and certain that those regulations can be met.
At the moment, only a small number of manufacturers produce chloroprene rubber. But due to its versatility and processability into various products, the demand for it is enormous and constantly growing – in some cases it exceeds the supply. As a result, chloroprene rubber can be subject to strong price fluctuations at times, and availability is not always stable. Therefore, CR-free adhesives are the solution.
Summary of advantages of CR-free adhesives
The CR-free adhesives from our SIMALFA® line do not yellow and show an even better resistance to age. The modern chlorine-free formulation is highly ecological and meets all the requirements of the strictest environmental labels so that our clients are armed against stricter regulations imposed by legislators. With resource-saving production and energy-saving processing, SIMALFA® is taking a further step towards the circular economy. Furthermore, the raw materials which are used to compose the CR-free adhesives are considered to be available in sufficient quantities for 1K and 2K adhesive solutions.
The foam industry is in a state of upheaval due to new, stricter environmental regulations. Regulatory limits are becoming stricter, and the expectations of the end users are constantly rising. The need for chlorine- and halogen-free end products is continuously gaining in importance. CR-free products provide the user a sustainable alternative.
The CR-free, water-based adhesives from SIMALFA® are both solvent- and chlorine-free (and therefore halogen-free) formulated and were developed specifically for the foam processing industry. The 1- or 2-component system can be used for a wide range of materials in foam and upholstery production. As with all SIMALFA® adhesive types, the new range is also extremely economical to use. Even small application quantities bond foams efficiently and enable bonding at the highest level.
The adhesives are characterized above all by excellent instant tack properties and outstanding processability. Together with the strong initial adhesion, the user benefits from an economic as well as ecological application.
The current portfolio
SIMALFA® 360 is a high-solid, solvent-free dispersion adhesive for the bonding of foams by roller application. Fast drying, high flexibility and one-sided application distinguish SIMALFA® 360 as the adhesive for efficient producers. Pack and ship your workpieces immediately after pressing. And because there is no memory effect on the end product, SIMALFA® 360 is ideal for roll packing.
The latest chlorine-free and thus halogen-free formulated dispersion-based foam adhesive SIMALFA® 374 meets the most stringent requirements of current and future regulations and ecolabels. Its high instant tack and final adhesive strength set the benchmark for future foam bonding technology.
SIMALFA® 374 is a water-based, solvent- and halogen-free contact formulated adhesive specifically developed for the foam processing industry. The 2-component system provides excellent adhesion for wood/foam bonding.
Forecast for the future
As environmental as well as economic restrictions and regulations will likely increase in the future, a CR-free adhesive will be the best solution in the long run. The raw materials are sustainable and will ensure compliance with environmental regulations. With a long-term certainty of raw material availability and of complying with demands from environmental labels, companies that rely on CR-free adhesives will be more competitive. Our existing product portfolio is constantly being improved and expanded.
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