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Technology Profile: Nitrile Rubber Production

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Nitrile Rubber Production – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/nitrile-rubber-production-cost. Nitrile rubber (NBR), also known as Buna-N, is a synthetic rubber copolymer of 1,3-butadiene and acrylonitrile. The material is resistant to various oils, fuels and chemicals, and is classified as a specialty rubber. NBR is primarily used in applications where good oil resistance is required, such as in rubber seals and O-rings, hose and belting stock, blowout preventers or packers (oil drilling). NBR is also used in molding miscellaneous parts, rubber latex products, sponge applications and footwear. The process The process examined here is a typical continuous cold-emulsion process for producing NBR that contains 33 wt.% of acrylonitrile. The process (Figure 1) consists of three major sections: (1) polymerization, (2) purification and (3) finishing. Figure 1. The diagram shows nitrile rubber production via emulsion polymerization[/caption] Polymerization. Acrylonitrile and butadiene are mixed with an emulsifier agent, demineralized water and other chemicals to form the emulsion that will be fed to the polymerization reactors. Polymerization is…
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