Through discoveries within Shell academia, Shell developed the first commercially viable styrenic block copolymers (SBC) in 1955. These thermoplastic elastomers were named Kraton™ after Kratos, the Greek god of strength and brother of Nike, for its unique strength properties.
Shell had an established SBR position in the footwear industry, which led to formulated Kraton™ D polymers in leisure shoes. This launched the first major SBC market in 1964 with the primary value of delivering reduced system cost and improved wet traction.
Kraton G polymers – SBC with hydrogenated midblocks – was introduced, offering elasticity, flexibility with enhanced oxidation, UV and weather resistance, higher service temperatures and increased processing stability. At the time, development was centered on a Government National Institute of Health program, resulting in the name Kraton G. Development began for what became a significant use of Kraton G polymers for motor oil viscosity index improvers within Shell.
USBC used in adhesives and sealants.
United States Patent and Trademark Office issued first patent to Shell on the Process for Preparing Block Copolymers.
Hydrogenated Kraton rubber (Kraton G polymer) was patented. The technology increased compatibility with polyolefins and oil for compounds while extending SBC UV and thermal stability.
First SBC trials for road and roofing applications were conducted.