Emerald Specialty Polymers introduces Nychem emulsion

26 August 2015

Emerald Specialty Polymers, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, has introduced Nychem™ 1561X604, a new nitrile latex emulsion designed to optimise strength, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance and other performance characteristics in paper saturation, textile coating and gasket applications.

Nychem™ 1561X604 is a medium-nitrile-level speciality emulsion that improves upon the performance of previous generation polymers, greatly enhancing tensile strength and providing superior resistance to water, oil, grease and hydrocarbons. The advanced technology behind Nychem™ 1561X604 – based on butadiene, acrylonitrile and styrene – also provides benefits such as high elongation and abrasion resistance. Designed with low/no emulsifier levels, Nychem™ 1561X604 is a high surface tension emulsion that exhibits low foam.

"We created Nychem™ 1561X604 by working closely with our customers to design a superior polymer that would optimize toughness for particular use in paper and textile applications. The result is an emulsion that has exceeded even our expectations. Tensile strength was increased by 400%, while maintaining the high elongation over the starting latex in paper testing prior to any crosslinking or vulcanization of the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene lattices,” said Jeffrey Mathys, R&D Manager for Emerald Specialty Polymers. "Not only is the performance phenomenal but because 1561X604 utilises a vulcanisable resin, there is an opportunity to tailor the product for even further toughness.”

Mathys noted that physical properties of Nychem™ 1561X604 rubber films demonstrated results similar to those of paper products. Development of the new product occurred at Emerald’s pilot plant in Akron, Ohio, which was completed in December 2013 and included the addition of a new 100-gallon pilot reactor and upgraded R&D facilities.

"We commissioned the pilot plant to expand the flexibility and R&D capabilities of the nitrile operation. Since its completion, we have explored a greater range of end-use applications and looked at how we can develop unique solutions that optimise performance and overcome traditional formulation challenges for those applications,” said John Zuppo, vice president, commercial services for Emerald Specialty Polymers. "Nychem™ 1561X604 was born as a part of that process.”

Emerald’s Nychem™ speciality emulsions are used in a variety of industrial applications, including paper, abrasives, tape, adhesives, specialty coatings, coated fabrics, coal tar sealing binders and leather. For many decades, the line was sold under the Hycar® brand, which was one of the first synthetic latex offerings, known for its quality and superior technology foundation. Emerald rebranded the product line following the divestiture of the business from its predecessor company.

Today, Nychem™ products include nitrile, SB and ABS latex emulsions that provide a combination of properties superior to other polymers and perform well in tough end-use environments. They offer superior grease, oil, fat and solvent resistance. They are also abrasion- and caustic-resistant, yet soft, elastic and resilient. Their performance features can be further enhanced through vulcanization and, in some cases, cross-linked through heat-reactive or carboxyl functional groups present in certain products.

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