History and Development

The History of Therban®

Therban® HNBR is ARLANXEO's original high-performance elastomer. ARLANXEO is the world's largest synthetic rubber company. HNBR was invented more than 25 years ago. Since then, ARLANXEO research scientists have been developing new grades and exploring new ways to meet your ever-changing engineering challenges. The original patent dates back to 1975, named "hydrogenation of polymers". The trade name Therban® was registered in 1986.

Therban® is a partially or completely hydrogenated acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber whose vulcanizates offer a unique combination of heat resistance, oil resistance, and high performance in aggressive media. While all HNBR products exhibit certain characteristics such as strength, heat resistance, and oil resistance comparable to standard NBR and other polymers, only Therban® offers a selection of grades that will perform well across a range of the most extreme environments.

Therban® is manufactured in Orange, Texas and Leverkusen, Germany. Both plants feature state-of-the-art production.

Therban® Development

During the 1970s, the automotive, industrial, and oil-well industries challenged the research and development community to develop an improved heat- and oil-resistant elastomer. It was essential for this new elastomer to perform at 150°C in air, oils, and other aggressive media for extended periods. Although many new elastomers were considered, hydrogenated nitrile rubber (HNBR) emerged as the most promising by demonstrating a unique combination of mechanical properties, oil resistance, and high-temperature performance. Therban® was developed to bridge the price-performance gap between specialty high-performance fluoroelastomers (FKM), fluorosilicone (FMQ), and general purpose oil-resistant elastomers such as nitrile rubber (NBR), epichlorohydrin (ECO), and polychloroprene (CR).

Evaluation of Therban® elastomers in the marketplace confirmed their unique balance of dynamic properties at elevated temperatures, excellent ozone resistance, superior abrasion resistance, good low-temperature behavior, and very good hot-air resistance. The presence of the nitrile group in combination with the highly saturated nature of the elastomer is responsible for the superior resistance to aggressive fluids such as oils, fuels, and other non-polar liquids.