Australian scientists have created a new kind of rubber polymer that will help to develop more sustainable building materials. This versatile new material can be used on its own as regular rubber or mixed with fillers to create completely new composites. And when the product’s useful life ends, the material can be recycled almost an infinite number of times.
The new rubber polymer is made from sulfur and rapeseed oil and has a unique chemical structure. Rubber does not melt - instead, sulfur bonds in its structure can be broken and transformed by applying pressure and smooth heating at about 100 ° C. This reaction starts when the polymer is in powder form. A team of researchers calls this process as "reactive compression molding."
As a result, it is possible to give the material the shape of pipes, coatings, bumpers, insulation and many other things that are usually made of rubber. As soon as the use of products becomes impossible, it is not just be thrown away. The polymer can be pulverized, put back into the mold and recycled into something new.
The composite is suitable for recycling and when it is used together with filler, which, in addition, will make the final material more durable.
News source: https://polymerbranch.com/