The viscosity of LFR, Kuraray said, is “much lower” than liquid isoprene rubber.
Explaining the technology further, Kuraray stated: “Due to its optimal molecular weight, LFR reacts completely with solid rubber during vulcanization, meaning, unlike an oil, which would migrate to the rubber's surface over time and thus impede hardening, it stays bonded. Therefore, its ice-grip performance is maintained over the long term.
“LFR possesses a highly branched brush-like structure with molecular chains that do not easily become entangled with one another. In addition, a highly reactive double bond on the end of each branch ensures that, when vulcanized, LFR completely reacts with solid rubber and solidifies.”
Amyris describes the material, trans-β-farnesene, as a renewable building block with a long-chain, branched molecular structure that makes it attractive as a scaffold for specialty chemical applications, such as adhesives, emulsifiers, foams, sealants, resins, fragrances, etc.
The Japanese specialty chemicals company and Amyris formed a partnership with Amyris in 2011 covering farnesene and signed a multi-year collaboration extension in December 2016 covering the joint marketing of products to industry and end customers.
“Together [the two companies] created technology that refines Amyris's biomass material farnesene to a level of purity suitable for polymerization as well as technology that synthesizes LFR,” Kuraray said.
Through the partnership, the companies “discovered relationships between various properties when combining LFR's molecular structure with rubber compounds and began supplying LFR to tire manufacturers,” it added.