LETZero Encyclopedia: Bio-Circular Balanced BR – Synthetic rubber applied with bio raw materials
2023. 12. 26
2023. 12. 26
Welcome to LETZero Encyclopedia, an introductory series to LG Chem’s eco-friendly brand LETZero and its products. The last episode focused on Bio-Circular Balanced NBR Latex, an eco-friendly material used in medical gloves, etc. Today, we take a close look at Bio-Circular Balanced BR, an eco-friendly synthetic rubber that contributes to reducing the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions by applying plant-based raw materials.
Bio-Circular Balanced BR is commonly known for the material that forms car tires. With excellent rebound elasticity, it is not only suitable for tires but also leisure sports goods such as sneakers and golf balls, as well as various industrial products. Now, let’s get into the details of Bio-Circular Balanced BR, from its major features to applications.
To know what Bio-Circular Balanced BR is, we first need to understand BR (Butadiene Rubber). BR is a synthetic rubber product made by solution polymerization of a chemical known as butadiene. Also called polybutadiene, it features excellent elasticity and dynamic properties and is used in the manufacture of car tires.
As the name signifies, BR has its basis on butadiene. Made up of carbon and hydrogen, when we polymerize butadiene to bond one butadiene molecule with another, it forms a large high-molecular chain. This high-molecular chain is what we call BR. BR has a significantly long chain structure made up of carbon and hydrogen. As the bond between carbon and hydrogen is flexible, BR comes with elasticity similar to rubber.
Then, what is Bio-Circular Balanced BR? Bio-Circular Balanced BR refers to eco-friendly BR produced by blending fossil-fuel based raw materials with renewable bio raw materials such as waste cooking oil and plant byproducts. LG Chem uses the former petrochemicals production infrastructure to create eco-friendly BR. LG Chem’s Bio-Circular Balanced BR features physical properties and processability equivalent to those of conventional BR, and boasts high cis content*. In particular, its mechanical physical properties are excellent. With remarkable abrasion resistance and solidity, it is widely used in low fuel-consumption tires, eco-friendly tires, and ultra-high performance (UHP) tires, etc. Besides that, Bio-Circular Balanced BR also features excellent bending resistance and cold resistance. It maintains the same elasticity and physical properties at low temperatures, and is applicable to rubber which requires transparency.
*cis content: As an indicator of the location of double-bonded carbon atoms existing within the rubber, cis refers to the form of double-bonded carbon atoms being placed in the same spot. Higher cis content leads to improved elasticity and durability of the rubber.
Meanwhile, Bio-Circular Balanced BR has acquired ISCC Plus certificate, which verifies the sustainability of eco-friendly products. Now, it is gaining global recognition for its outstanding quality, as well as eco-friendly properties. ISCC Plus is an international certification system that verifies that eco-friendly raw materials have been used across the whole production process, following European Union (EU)’s Renewable Energy Directive.
Bio-Circular Balanced BR has secured physical properties and processability equivalent to those of conventional BR. Therefore, it is applicable to all areas where BR is used. Typical application of Bio-Circular Balanced BR includes tires and tire parts. With excellent durability and abrasion resistance, Bio-Circular Balanced BR is a prevalent component in automotive tires, including those designed for low fuel efficiency, environmental friendliness, and ultra-high performance. Besides that, it is also applied to industrial rubber products such as the core of golf balls, outsole of hiking boots, conveyor belts and hoses, rubber isolators, and castors.
According to the market research group Mordor Intelligence, tires and tire parts occupy the highest market share in the synthetic rubber market. Furthermore, the eco-friendly synthetic rubber market is expected to grow along with the rising production of electric vehicles. To apply the outstanding quality and eco-friendly properties of Bio-Circular Balanced BR to a wider range of products, LG Chem plans to take active measures to target the global market.
Have you enjoyed the introduction of Bio-Circular Balanced BR and its applications? The next LETZero encyclopedia will come back with a story of Bio-Circular Balanced Acrylates.