ABSTRACT

Isobutylene elastomers are of great commercial importance in tire applications because of their notable low gas permeability properties, owing to their efficient molecular packing. Brominated isobutylene-co-para-methylstyrene (BIMSM) elastomers are a special class of isobutylene elastomers synthesized by random cationic polymerization of isobutylene and para-methylstyrene (pMS), followed by a selective bromination of the methyl group of the pMS units. BIMSM elastomer, commercially known as Exxproâ„¢ specialty elastomer, exhibits superior heat resistance and aging properties and is much more resistant to chemicals and ozone than butyl- or halobutyl polymers because of its fully saturated backbone structure. The permeability properties of BIMSM elastomers can be tuned by the level of pMS comonomer present in the polymer chain. The pMS comonomer increases the glass transition temperature of the copolymer, and polymers with very low gas permeability needed for demanding tire air retention applications can be produced by suitably selecting the pMS content. A single type of benzylic bromide, but with a versatile functional group, allows for precise control of vulcanization chemistry, potential for other chemical transformations to achieve other reactive groups, and grafting reactions. We present the new material developments to meet the growing market demands and requirements for low maintenance, low inflation pressure loss rate tires and tires for connected autonomous shared electric vehicles.

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