Cikautxo’s R & D & i unit has partnered with CIC nanoGUNE, the cooperative research center in nanosciences, to advance a new project that will allow them to take a leap in this sector and be able to advance in obtaining high-quality rubber value added.

Rubber is a type of elastomer, elastic polymers that can be easily deformed, explain from CIC nanoGUNE, a research center that highlights the elastic and flexible capacity of these materials before breaking. “The benefits of conventional elastomeric components are highly optimized and it is difficult to achieve a competitive advantage if technology is not transcended,” explains José Santos, from the Injection area at Cikatek, Cikautxo’s R&D division, which is Present in eight countries and has 3,000 professionals, as well as 12 patent families.

This limitation has led to betting on new routes and alliances that make them possible. The result is this new step that Cikautxo and CIC nanoGUNE are taking together, with “two disruptive technologies”, they explain, in which nanoGUNE works, a member of the Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation (RVCTI) and the BRTA alliance. With the Nanobiotechnology group, we are working on a new material to create composites and matrices for sectors such as construction or medicine. With this new material added to elastomers, the aim is to “provide rubber with greater dynamic and corrosion resistance,” explains Raúl Pérez-Jiménez, leader of that group at nanoGUNE.

Another branch of the project is approached from the Nanomaterials group, to create inorganic polymeric hybrid materials that manage to incorporate new properties that each component does not have individually. “Hybridization can generate synergistic effects of the inorganic and polymer phases, so it can become an important mechanism for improving mechanical properties and minimizing elastomer fatigue,” explains group leader Mato Knez.

Both organizations highlight that “the use of these cutting-edge technologies still to be explored will undoubtedly allow a qualitative leap in increasing the performance of the components and, if this were to be achieved, would increase competitiveness as compliance with the specification notebook could be maintained. with smaller, or lighter, or more competitive components in price “.

The project is part of the collaborative research aid program in Elkartek strategic areas, within the block of projects with high industrial potential. It is one of the programs with which the SPRI Group promotes the R&D of Basque companies, for which it has tools, assets, aid, working groups and alliances in order to promote research and generate new technologies.