Emulsion polymerized styrene- butadiene rubber (E- SBR) is one of the most widely used polymers in the world today. Emulsion SBR is employed in many demanding applications, which enhance the quality of life and contribute significantly to our economy and standards of living.
In the 1930’s, the first emulsion polymerized styrene- butadiene rubber known as Buna S was prepared by I. G. Farbenindustrie in Germany. The U. S. Government in 1940 established the Rubber Reserve Company to start a stockpile of natural rubber and a synthetic rubber program. These programs were expanded when the United States entered World War II. The synthetic rubber efforts were initially focused on a hot polymerised (41° C) emulsion polymerised- styrene- butadiene rubber.
Production of a 23.5% styrene and 76.5% butadiene copolymer began in 1942. Cold polymerised emulsion polymerised- styrene- butadiene rubber (5° C), that has significantly better physical properties than hot polymerised styrene- butadiene rubber, was developed in 1947. Between 1946 and 1955 the synthetic rubber plants owned by the US Government were sold to the private industry or closed.
Emulsion polymerised- styrene- butadiene rubber is predominantly used for the production of car and light truck tires and truck tire retread compounds. A complete list of the uses of styrene- butadiene rubber includes houseware mats, drain board trays, shoe sole and heels, chewing gum, food container sealants, tires, conveyor belts, sponge articles, adhesives and caulks, automobile mats, brake and clutch pads, hose, V- belts, flooring, military tank pads, hard rubber battery box cases, extruded gaskets, rubber toys, moulded rubber goods, shoe soling, cable insulation and jacketing, pharmaceutical, surgical, and sanitary products, food packaging, etc.