Synthetic elastomers (or synthetic rubbers) are used in many different industries: automotive, bitumen modification, HIPS, shoe soles and masterbatch. Synthetic rubber is often preferred over natural rubber because it is higher in purity and easier to handle. One of BassTech’s core products, styrene-butadiene styrene (SBS), is a common synthetic rubber used in industrial manufacturing.
1. Styrene-butadiene styrene is classified as a thermoplastic elastomer.
As a thermoplastic elastomer, SBS is easily processed and reprocessed when heated. Upon heating, it acts like plastic and is very workable. Its structure (block copolymer with two polystyrene chains) allows for a combination of hard plastic and elastic properties.
2. Compared to traditional vulcanized rubber, using styrene-butadiene styrene can help reduce production costs.
It is recyclable, abrasion-resistant and does not require vulcanizing. SBS ages well and does not wear easily, minimizing the need for repairs and making it a cost-effective component of roofing products.
3. Styrene-butadiene styrene is very suitable for roofing applications.
SBS is widely used in roofing applications such as bitumen modification, liquid seal materials and waterproof coatings. In cold temperatures, SBS remains strong, flexible and resistant to moisture. In addition to roofing, SBS is used in paving, sealants and coatings to add cold flexibility and reduce destructive crack propagation. As an asphalt modifier, SBS prevents potholes and cracks typically caused by thermal shock.
4. Styrene-butadiene styrene is a popular material for footwear manufacturers.
According to RubberWorld, the Chinese footwear industry consumed 40 percent of SBS supply in 2010. SBS is an excellent material in footwear manufacturing for many of the same reasons that make it ideal for roofing. In shoe soles, styrene-butadiene styrene contributes to a strong yet flexible product that can be waterproofed.