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Kraton Polymers: quality, economy, service  #9 (43), 2006

Kraton

Using styrene block copolymers from Kraton Polymers (USA) providing elasticity to polymer materials one can get good economical effect and produce wares with high consumer properties

Kraton in Russia
Kraton Polymers, the world’s largest producer of styrene block copolymers has recently launched an initiative to introduce its products to a wider range of customers in Russia. The company’s executive vice president, Kevin Fogarty, said:
-“The recent dramatic economic growth rate demonstrated by the Russian economy has suggested to us that now is the time to increase the awareness of our products and their advantages in Russia”.
It is true, application of styrene block copolymers bringing thermoplastic behaviour to elastomers is beneficial for producers.. First of all, it can help significant cost savings through shorter cycle times and reduced scrap rates versus materials such as natural rubber and EPDM which require vulcanization. Application of Kraton polymers also gives other advantages.
Kraton styrene block copolymers are usually used to bring beneficial properties to a range of materials such as polypropylene and polystyrene. Modified plastic compounds have a “soft touch” feel, have a high degree of elongation and are easily coloured, which are appreciated by the end user. Another advantage of Kraton polymer compounds is hardness over a significant range (Shore A 10 to D 80).

Business card
Kraton Polymers (Huston, USA), up to 2001 styrene block copolymers division of Royal Dutch/Shell concern, holds leading positions in world manufacture and supplies of this type of block copolymers for various applications.
Kraton polymers are used in production of adhesives, coatings and gels, bitumen modifications for roads pavements, mastics and roof materials, industrial and footwear compounds, compositions for medical wares, packaging, films and hygienic products manufacture.
First sphere of applying styrene block copolymers was footwear compounds production, for this purpose in mid 60-s last century Shell established that very business. At the moment Kraton Polymers produces over 100 block copolymers brands which can be divided into two groups: non-hydrogenated (Kraton D) and hydrogenated (Kraton G) styrene block copolymers.
The company has six plants in Brazil, Germany, Holland, the USA, France and Japan. Kraton Polymers research and development centres are located in Belgium, Brazil, Holland, the USA, and Japan.
Kraton products have been supplied to Russia and CIS countries for the last 15 years. These polymers' consumers appreciate high quality of the product, high-class technical support of the company and supplies reliability.
Kraton Polymers is represented in Russia by Rusmov Ltd., you can contact it on any technical and commercial information.

Air bag cover From toys to pillows
Possessing a number of properties important for a customer, Kraton polymers are used in a wide range of applications from automotive to toys, from construction to consumer goods and from medical to industrial applications.
Styrene block copolymers can be applied as a hot melt in combination with aliphatic resins and have a wide range of uses in adhesive backings for tapes and labels. They are also used as tie layers for the laminate systems used in diapers and feminine hygiene products. As the hot-melt application system does not use solvents, its use is environmentally friendly and increases application rates versus traditional natural rubber based systems. As a solution of a problem caused by global shortages of isoprene, Kraton Polymers have introduced a new family of mixed butadiene/isoprene based polymers which are unique development of the company and are now available in Russia. Styrene block copolymers are also used in a wide range of sealants.
Packaging tapes, sealants, diapers In building sphere Kraton compounds can be used to produce high performance sealing systems for such applications as window profiles, drainage systems, electrical junction boxes and cable insulation.
Kraton products are used in a wide range of automotive applications: compounds made from Kraton polymers are specified for use in the major automotive concerns. They are used for such applications as air bag covers, fascias, areas requiring "soft touch" such as gear stick covers and window seals. The excellent overmoulding capability ensures good adherence to underlying materials.
Disposable razors Kraton polymers are used in a wide range of consumer applications: they are for all kinds of handles, toothbrushes, tools, knives, sports equipment, hoses and pen grips, camera casings. Kraton can also improve toughness and impact resistance of materials used in sports applications, for example, golf ball covers and snowboard bindings. Kraton-based compounds can also be used to produce toys and wine corks.
Thanks to compounds insert chevrons on a disposable razor man holds it sure and safe.
In the packaging field styrene block copolymers can be used to modify polystyrene to enhance the durability of disposable cups and can also be used as a tie/barrier layer in coextruded polyolefin film. It can even replace PVC in cling film applications for food packaging.
Kraton polymers can be compounded to create films which are used where a stretch property is required in the product.
Stretch film As Kraton polymers meet FDA and USP Class VI requirements they are ideally suited for medical applications. In recent times, Kraton polymers have been used to replace to natural rubber causing allergic reactions and PVC plasticizers considered harmful ones in many applications from surgeon’s gloves to condoms and from packing applications to the use with polypropylene for IV blood bags.

Kraton Polymers offers cooperation
Kraton Polymers is ready to help manufacturers seeking value creation to utilize existing or newly designed polymers to give them exactly the performance they need in various applications. The most extensive experience and knowledge-base of styrene block copolymers, combined with overall technology leadership with unique ability to customize polymers are distinguishing features of Kraton Polymers. The company is committed to co-development with its customer partners.
If you produce materials and goods which have elastomeric properties and you want to reduce your manufacturing costs whilst providing your customers with an improved performance, Kraton Polymers probably has the answer for you!
For more information about Kraton products, please visit the website at www.kraton.com.

Kraton polymers properties
1. Kraton G based compounds:
  • hardness – from 10 Shore A to 70 Shore D;
  • stiffness – from very rubbery to flexible;
  • tensile strength – 3-25 MPa;
  • elongation at break – 400-1500 percent;
  • tear strength – 20-130 kN/m;
  • compression set – 35-100 percent (24 hrs, 100 C);
  • service temperature – from -70 C to 150 C;
  • flame retardancy – from bad to good (depending on additives);
  • resistance against:
  • UV – from good to excellent (depending on stabilizers);
  • acids and bases – excellent (including Nitric acid);
  • alcohol – excellent;
  • water-based food – excellent;
  • fatty food – swell;
  • hydrocarbons – swell or dissolves.
2. Hydrogenated Kraton G based compounds:
  • UV stability;
  • long term thermal and ozone stability;
  • soft touch;
  • strongest and most extendible;
  • excellent compatibility with polyolefins;
  • good adhesion to polyolefins and styrenics, maleated versions are available for adhesion to polar substrates;
  • excellent resistance to bases and acids compared to polyurethane elastomers;
  • most grades meet FDA requirements and USP Class VI.
3. Kraton polymers general advantages:
  • no vulcanization required;
  • fast processing speeds leading to productivity gains versus natural rubber, for example;
  • recyclable scrap leads to low wastage rates;
  • uniform appearance leads to low rework rates;
  • easily coloured to any desired shade.

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