Project Objectives

The main purpose of this project is to improve the understanding of the parameters affecting the manufacture of these rubber hoses by extrusion “through the weave” and to develop an efficient continuous method to keep reject rate to a minimum and to achieve longer hoses. The achievement of this goal will provide the following opportunities: to SME manufacturers: they will reduce manufacturing costs, will increase market share and will be able to enter new markets; to SME compounder: acquire the knowledge required to prepare these specific formulations and access a new market.

Within the project, a series of scientific and technological objectives will be targeted during WP1:

Scientific Objectives

Las principales innovaciones científicas del proyecto serán:

    li>Surpass the present knowledge on the dynamics of rubber during processing (mixture), and the influence of temperature gradients and interaction with additives on the generation of pre-vulcanized particles that can act as defects on the mixing outcome.
  1. Enhance the understanding of the volatiles released by rubber compounds during vulcanization, among a broad combination of additives and heating conditions. This should allow us identify unwanted use/combinations of additives.
  2. Increase the knowledge about the synergistic effects of the ingredients on the performance of a rubber compound, the many variables involved in the mixing and filtering process and the final distribution within the double-faced rubber coating during extrusion. This will help us determine the main causes of defects and the achievable geometry reduction for certain mechanical properties

Goals and Technological Objectives

Project Goals

  • Development of rubber compounds for thin products:

    • without surface defects or pores produced during vulcanization
    • with adherence to the textile reinforcement and physical properties required by standards
  • Development of a surface vulcanization method that will:

    • Give the surface of the extruded hose enough strength to suppress plasticity during vulcanization
    • Hold the shape of the hose during vulcanization
    • Reduce vulcanization time when the current discontinuous vulcanization is applied
  • Development of a reliable continuous vulcanization method that will:

    • Be able to produce longer hoses
    • Increase productivity
    • Have a reduced footprint on the industrial site
  • Development of a more appealing finished rubber hose that:

    • will be lighter
    • Will be more flexible.

In order to get these objectives verifiable and measurable the following Technological Objectives have been defined:

  1. Development of new rubber compounds with adequate viscosity to enable efficient extrusion, higher resilience (measure of the flexibility) than the currently used compound, and showing no cracks after 100 h at 22ºC and 50 pphm ozone concentration (to be undertaken during WP1);
  2. Develop a new rubber mixing process that will maintain compound viscosity at 35 Mooney units and will assure a shelf-life of at least 4 weeks (developed on WP 2 with the compounds from WP1);
  3. Achieving a double faced hose using at least 10% less rubber while getting a self-supporting flat profile that can hold the shape when heated in an oven at 100ºC for 1h, and a rejection rate of not more than 5% (from the current 15 to 30%); (WP3)
  4. Developing of a new continuous vulcanization process, that can produce a level of outer blisters below 0.01 m-3, with a vulcanization time below 1.25 hours to keep pace with extrusion rate (WP3).