Changing formulations or developing recipes to create new products takes time and specific expertise. This is why Lehigh created its Application & Development Center. Staffed with experienced engineers and scientists, and process and testing equipment similar to that of our customers, the purpose of the Application & Development Center is to assist customers in developing commercial applications that meet their cost, performance and sustainability targets – faster.
The capabilities of ADC are in three core areas:
- rubber compounding, curing and compression molding, and testing;
- plastics compounding, injection molding and testing; and
- coatings formulations and testing.
First and second-generation sustainable solutions using end-of-life tire rubber have been around for years as tire-derived fuel, sports surfaces, and mulch. To accelerate this progress, however, a more technological approach is required. Lehigh’s ADC is applying disciplined chemistry and polymer science to this engineered material to create higher value uses for the advanced polymers found in end-of-life tires. This work includes a fundamental understanding of the chemical and physical properties of our materials – we call this Micronized Rubber Powder, the 3rd-generation of sustainable rubber technologies; Lehigh’s Application & Development Center is making it happen.
Examples of what the ADC is working on now:
- increasing MRP content in tread compounds
- characterization and surface modification of MRPs
- development of low cost impact modifiers for polyolefins using MRP
- enhancing the performance of MRP used in elastomeric roof coatings
- characterizing small particle size MRP in asphalt modifiers with the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University