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The vital link in the chain

All you need to know about crosslinking and why your daily life would be very different without it.

We’ve all heard of shoe soles, high voltage power cables, golf balls and car parts. But when was the last time you heard the word crosslinking?

Chances are you never have, because it doesn’t tend to crop up in everyday conversation. But without crosslinking (also referred to as vulcanization), you couldn’t successfully manufacture any of the products mentioned above.
 
Allow us to explain. Crosslinking is the process of bonding different (linear) polymer chains together to form a networked structure. In other words, it makes finished products tougher and stronger.

The vital link in the chain

Why are crosslinked polymers so important? Because their mechanical strength and heat resistance make plastics and rubbers more durable, ensuring that they keep their original shape and form. So it’s possible to manufacture a whole range of everyday essentials, such as shoes soles, golf ball cores, high voltage cables and automotive parts – to name just a few.
 
You’re probably wondering why this is relevant to AkzoNobel. Well, we’re actually the world’s largest producer of the organic peroxides that are used for the crosslinking of rubbers and thermoplastics. Our Trigonox and Perkadox products might not be household names, but they are essential ingredients in the crosslinking process and ultimately help to improve the properties of plastics and rubbers.
 

 
In fact, demand for our products is growing so fast that we have just announced plans to increase the crosslinking organic peroxide capacity at our Polymer Chemistry facility in China by more than 40%.
 
All this has been made possible by the expertise of our scientists and researchers. It’s their thorough understanding and knowledge of free radical chemistry which has paved the way for the development of our innovative and sustainable product portfolio.
 
And in the end, it’s this commitment to excellence which enables us to deliver for our customers and consolidate our position as the global leader in the organic peroxides market.