Sustainable solution for rubber goods
> 90% CO₂
have a 90% lower carbon footprint, compared to standard furnace carbon black (see infographic)
> 25% lighter
are at least 25% lighter than conventional fillers - lighter means higher material-efficiency and better fuel economy
are free of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
Mechanical Rubber Goods (MRG) are used worldwide in many applications, including automotive parts, household articles, rubber parts that are daily in contact with humans.
Durability, processing characteristics like injection moulding, extrusion are significant for this industry. In specific applications, the ascetics properties are the key. These products are not made for single use but are designed for a longer lifetime.
The automotive industry has started replacing heavy steel parts with lightweight metals to expand driving ranges and reduce further CO₂ emissions per kilometre driven. For example, shifting to Aluminum or Magnesium in car doors enables weight reductions of 50-75%, resulting in total weight savings of more than 40 kg per vehicle. However, both metals suffer from electrochemical corrosion when used with steel, requiring non-conductive automotive sealings with 108 Ohm*cm and higher electrical volume resistivities.
Traditional rubber technology faces difficulties meeting the new requests without tradeoffs in compound processing, rubber performance or final article weight. Especially the latter is often regarded critical as it directly interferes with the OEM’s weight reduction efforts.
UPM’s Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) offer rubber compounders and automotive profile manufacturers the perfect solution to meet the electrical non-conductivity requirements while maintaining rubber processability, performance, and final surface appearance at the highest level. Due to their low material density, weight savings of up to 15% can be additionally achieved compared to the classic approach. Furthermore, the rubber compounds exhibit a renewable content of 30% and higher, enabling significantly lower carbon footprints for the final article. In summary, automotive rubber profiles containing UPM’s RFFs help OEMs reduce vehicle weight by applying lightweight metals and further improve the car’s CO₂ emissions per kilometre driven while lowering its overall carbon production footprint.
UPM's Renewable Functional Fillers in Automotive Weatherstrip
Industries widely use hoses for various applications ranging from relatively simple material conveyance to sophisticated temperature control systems. They are all characterized by their high durability and resistance against the transported medium (e.g., fluids, gases) under use conditions (temperature and pressure). Failures like swelling, leakage, or burst can cause severe damages for people, machinery, or nature and thus must be avoided.
UPM’s Renewable Functional Fillers (RFFs) offer rubber compounders and hose manufacturers the perfect solution for various applications:
Effective temperature management is crucial for the automotive industry, especially for the performance of modern electric vehicles. The batteries work most efficiently at temperatures between 20°C to 40°C, which enable long ranges and extended lifetimes. From the different cooling systems available, indirect liquid cooling is the preferred one. Like cooling systems for internal combustion engines, the coolant circulates through a system of hoses. However, coolant hoses have been known to deteriorate over time due to a phenomenon called electrochemical degradation (ECD). To avoid this kind of breakdown, the rubber compound of the coolant hose needs to be electrochemically resistant, requiring non-conductive hose inner tubes with electrical volume resistivities of 1010 Ohm*cm and higher. Traditional rubber technology can only fulfil this requirement by combining heavy and highly CO₂ intensive fillers that directly contradict the sustainability goals of the automotive industry.
UPM’s Renewable Functional Fillers (RFFs) offer rubber compounders and coolant hose manufacturers the perfect solution to meet the electrical non-conductivity requirements while even lowering the final article weight by up to 15% compared to the classic approach. Additionally, a 25% and higher renewables content is introduced into the application, significantly lowering its carbon footprint. In summary, automotive coolant hoses containing UPM’s RFFs help car manufacturers to apply efficient and reliable cooling systems for electric vehicles and further reduce their weight, providing added value in driving range expansions and lower overall carbon production footprint.
RFFs work exceptionally well in combination with the polar nitrile butadiene (NBR) and chloroprene (CR) rubbers due to their polar nature. Depending on the applied base polymer, the rubber swelling resistance can be improved while maintaining rubber processability and performance at the highest level. Additionally, RFFs inherently introduce a renewable content of 25% and higher in the rubber fuel hose, which significantly lowers its overall carbon footprint.
Hoses in contact with food and drinking water
The absence of PAHs makes UPM’s RFFs an exciting solution for hoses in direct contact with food or drinking water. The approvals for these kinds of applications are currently under preparation.
UPM’s Renewable Functional Fillers (RFFs) offer rubber compounders a perfect solution to significantly reduce the compound’s carbon footprints. RFFs have a bio-carbon content of >=94%. By incorporating RFF, compounders can introduce higher renewable materials content into the final application.
Depending on the compound design (i.e., rubber type, filler to be replaced, and actual filler loading), final weight savings of up to 25% can be achieved. Lower compound densities directly result in less consumption of CO₂-intensive rubber raw materials, further improving the compound carbon footprint.
Also, RFF is an electrical insulating product that helps to design electrical non-conductive rubber compounds for a longer lifetime of a final article that is in contact with metal.
RFF facilitates the creation of high purity compounds for the top-in-class rubber extrusion in terms of speed and strainer sieve lifetime. Also, improve the swelling resistance of rubbers against non-polar media. RFF has no PAHs; thus, compounds can follow Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1272/2013 and category 1 materials of the “Tested Safety” Mark without filler concentration limits.
Precision sealing systems are often invisible but indispensable to protect and connect different components for all kinds of application fields. They must satisfy the highest demands on tolerances and design, reliably withstand the most demanding environments in terms of temperatures or media, and function under static or dynamic conditions. Products range from simple O-rings, sophisticated gaskets, precision-manufactured moulded seals, and elastically deformable membranes. Defects in any of these can lead to severe damages for people, machinery, or nature and must be avoided. High-quality elastomers and fillers are typically applied to eliminate material failures and guarantee performance. Due to the high cost of some of these, scrape rates during production are crucial for the sealing manufacturers and need to be minimized.
UPM’s Renewable Functional Fillers (RFFs) offer the perfect solution to meet customers’ high-quality and reliability expectations. They are low to medium-specific surface areas that ensure excellent compound flowability and processing during the moulding process. RFF’s outstanding high purity and well-balanced pellet properties further reduce the manufacturing failure rates while delivering maximum safety and exceptional performance during the precision sealing’s actual use phase. In addition, RFF compounds feature distinct lower material densities resulting in less consumption of expensive and CO₂ intensive special rubbers. Due to RFF’s wood-based origin, the carbon footprint per precision sealing is even further reduced by introducing a significant share of renewable material into the final article.
The absence of PAHs makes UPM’s RFFs an exciting solution for precision sealing systems in direct contact with food or drinking water. The approvals for these kinds of applications are currently under preparation.
Producers of rubber flooring strive to increase the share of renewable materials in their products without compromising key performance attributes like durability or elasticity.
UPM Biochemicals’ RFF is the perfect solution. It increases renewable carbon content while significantly reducing carbon footprint compared to floorings with fossil-based, highly CO₂ - intensive functional fillers like carbon black or silica. Other crucial performance aspects are related to indoor air quality, the content of heavy metals, and other harmful constituents, which may cause adverse health effects upon more prolonged exposure. UPM’s RFF is designed for ultra-low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and there are no heavy metals added during the production process. Moreover, based on its inherent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, rubber floorings with RFF are expected to contribute to the highest levels of hygiene.
Finally, installers will value the lightweight of the RFF-based compounds, with possible weight savings up to 25%, depending on the composition of the reference system. The only limitation comes from the inherent dark-brown colour of the RFF and the corresponding colour of the compound. If bright coloured top layers are requested for decorative reasons, RFF still provides high value if applied in the bottom layers of the rubber flooring.