LMI Developing Green EPDM Compounds
Utilizing a new type of EPDM polymer, LMI Custom Mixing is playing its part in reducing carbon footprint and oil dependency through revolutionary developments in EPDM sponge and dense compounds, company officials report. Although the supplier, a joint venture between Lauren International and Meteor Gummiwerke, has not developed specific building and construction industry products with the new compounds yet, it sees potential for the new technology in window and door weatherseal applications.
The green EPDM material was developed by Lanxess using ethylene produced by dehydrating ethanol from Brazilian sugar cane, a renewable resource. LMI Custom Mixing is one of the first mixing facilities to formulate and test extruded sponge and dense compounds from the material, which is said to be the world’s first form of bio-based EPDM rubber, sold under the Keltan Eco brand name.
Comparable to standard petroleum-based polymers, the innovative green product offers high quality and high performance, LMI reports. To help reduce dependency on oil, the sustainable EPDM-based products can be up to 25 percent bio-based and 45 percent non-petroleum based.
LMI has already extruded and tested various profiles and is presently working on ASTM and FDA specified green compounds. “Our research will only go further, and the new line of green products and processes will continue to evolve. In the future, we want to include additional non-petroleum based fillers, plasticizers and additives to further improve these compounds,” says Jim Nixon, LMI general manager. “Anytime a renewable resource can be tapped to produce a product that is effective and economically competitive, everyone gains."