Zinc Oxide (ZnO) is a white chemical compound, obtained in the project in form of powder. Its physic-chemical properties convert it in a unique material with multiple applications, among others in rubber/EVA transformation processes.
The ZnO is an excellent activator in the rubber compounds for the organic accelerant to deploy all its activity during vulcanisation.
In a rubber formulation can be used among 10 and 25 components, whose properties can be combined in several ways. The vulcanisation process allows the crosslinking of the rubber molecules, thus ruling its physics and chemicals properties. This vulcanisation process is slow in case process activators and/or accelerators are not used. The most common activators combine ZnO in concentrations of 2-4% in reference to rubber, stearic acid and other organic type accelerants.
The addition of ZnO as activator and the sulphur as a vulcanising agent specifically proportion the elastomer the ability to reduce the time of vulcanisation, reduce energy consumption thus achieving a better dispersion of the blend and an improvement of the physic-mechanical properties of the formulations.
In the EVA expanded plates manufacturing, the ZnO is a compound that behaves as an activator of the foaming agent (azo-dicarbonamide), as the ZnO reduces its pure decomposition temperature, what is really important in this process.
With the development of LIFE+ GREENZO project is intended the validation of the recycled ZnO in the industrial manufacturing of rubber pieces and EVA expanded sheets, in actual industrial facilities as CAUCHOS KAREY, S.A. one.
 H. Abellán. Agentes de espumación para materiales termoplásticos. Revista Plásticos Modernos, nº 238, Abril 1976
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