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Butyl rubber demand to market rise across tire liner applications in the near future
The demand for butyl rubber is gaining expansion on account of its tremendous usage across the automotive, electrical and industrial sectors. It is mainly a general-purpose rubber derived from crude oil and can be blended with other oils, fillers, and antioxidants, to offer thermophysical and mechanical properties. Besides, butyl rubbers possess superior oxidation and ozone resistance. They also help to withstand a copious amount of organic and inorganic media.
Butyl rubber products can also resist prolonged exposure to heat and are found to offer stability in dilute acids and alkalis. This is because they impart relatively low gas and moisture permeability, hence are suitable for use in inner tubes as well as high pressure or vacuum applications that operate under demanding conditions.
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Need for vulcanization
Chlorinated butyl rubber is witnessing higher adoption owing to its lower permeability to air, gases, and moisture. This product is generated by reacting butyl rubber in a continuous process with chlorine. It is highly preferred over its regular counterpart on account of its enhanced compression and excellent resistance to ozone, heat, and flex fatigue. Other than these factors, it provides better adhesion and compatibility to other rubbers as well as a fast cure rate. Chlorinated butyl rubber also shows wide vulcanization versatility and operates on low glass transition temperature levels.
Higher resistance against weathering
The adoption of butyl rubber in tire liner applications is anticipated to grow exponentially. This is owing to their immense penetration in the inner liner of numerous tubeless tires, like truck tires. The rubber makes the tires soft and curtails the risk of squealing on braking or rounding corners whilst offering a high coefficient of friction between the tire and road.
It provides impermeability to the tires on exposure to heat that arises from various successive recapping operations. Besides, the rubber also renders resistance to weathering as well as cutting and chipping, which makes it apt for use in off-the-road machinery and farm tractor tires.
Big booster in the automotive industry
Penetration of butyl rubber components across the automotive sector will reach a significant level considering their growing need to render resistance against weathering, sunlight, and ozone. The compound is also witnessing higher incursion in weather strips, scalers as well as windshield and curtain-wall gaskets in automobiles. It is also used in diaphragms, wire and cable insulations, liners, O-rings, seals, and bottle closures owing to its attributes such as shock absorption, vibration damping and insolation.
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On account of all the aforementioned factors, butyl rubber manufacturers are consistently coming up with innovations and novel product launches to sustain competition. They are also focusing on inorganic strategies like mergers, partnerships, capacity expansions, and acquisitions to extend their offerings across the world.
To state an instance, in June 2018, ExxonMobil commenced the production of halobutyl rubber at its manufacturing complex in Singapore to meet the increasing product demand in the Asia Pacific region.
Impact of COVID-19
The current COVID-19 pandemic caused the sudden shutting down of operations across various industrial sectors during the first two quarters of 2020 in view of the rising cases around the world. This led to stalled demand and production for butyl rubber structures given the imposition of the lockdown policies and lack of workforce. However, the gradual easing of these barriers in the present day will add positive impetus to the industry forecast.
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