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Styrenic Block Copolymers

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  • Styrenic Block Copolymers(SBCs) are a unique class of thermoplastic elastomers consisting of a two-phase structure of hard polystyrene endblocks and soft rubber midblocks that impart strength and elasticity. The polystyrene endblocks associate to form domains that lock the molecule into place without vulcanization.

  • SBCs possess the mechanical properties of rubbers and the processing characteristics of thermoplasts.

  • SBCs consist of at least three blocks namely two hard polystyrene end blocks and onesoft, elastomeric midblock.

  • Styrenic Block Copolymers are made by anionic polymerization with an organometallic catalyst such as butyllithium as initiator.

  • SBC's which have an unsaturated polybutadiene or polyisoprene midblock can be readily cross linked by any of the conventional methods such as using certain phenolic resins, a sulfur-based vulcanization system or a free radical process initiated with a peroxide.

  • These are widely used for hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives. SBCs can also be used for elastic films such as diaper films. For elastic films, high modulus and high elasticity are required of SBCs.
    The use of SBCs in laminating films with controlled peel strengths.

  • Styrenic block copolymers are widely used in variety of pressure sensitive adhesive applications both in tapes and labels. The most commonly used SBC for adhesive applications are tri-blocks containing an elastomeric mid-block and thermoplastic end-blocks.

  • SBC are good impact modifiers for polypropylene. In addition to impact, the styrenic block copolymers can achieve good clarity in polypropylene random copolymers by choosing the appropriate block copolymers.

  • Adhesives have been formulated with styrenic block copolymers and a high percentage of ingredients from renewable resources. Materials derived from renewable resources are often polar and require a styrenic block copolymer with the right solubility characteristics.

  • SBC are increasingly being used in the production of elastomeric films for personal care and hygiene applications.

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