Robin Conrad
Contact us
Robin Conrad Marketing Contact us

Polymers in oil modification

Polymers play a decisive role in oil modification. The oil gels produced with them serve a wide variety of purposes in industrial and consumer applications. Whether they modify the viscosity of mineral oils as cosmetic additives, viscosity index improvers, prevent water penetration in telecommunications cables, or contribute to smooth drilling operations in the oil and gas industry.

Kuraray, as a leading global manufacturer of polymers, offers high-performance HSBCs (hydrogenated styrene block copolymers) for oil modification, KURARAY LIQUID RUBBER as well as ISOBAM™, which best meet the high demands of various markets. With compelling qualities such as meeting high standards, high molecular weight and functionalized grades, our products can greatly improve the performance of oil gels.

Polymers can modify oils to improve their characteristics.


  • VII and thickening agent
  • Cosmetics
  • 5G and telecommunication
  • Drilling fluids
  • Mold release agent

Applications for oil modification

Kuraray’s HSBCs as well as KURARAY LIQUID RUBBER for oil modification enhance product performance characteristics such as durability, safety, formulation versatility, easy mixing and many more.

Below you will find examples of applications for our materials for oil modification. If you have any questions about these or other possible applications, please contact us.

VII and thickening agent

As additives, viscosity index improvers and thickeners benefit cosmetic products, or help to ensure that the viscosity of a lubricant changes less at high and low temperatures. In this way, mineral oil lubricants retain more of their effectiveness even at a broad temperature range. Their use has eliminated the need for seasonal oil changes that were common in the past. As an additive to low-viscosity oil, they thicken it as the temperature rises, ensuring that mineral oils continue to provide reliable lubrication performance over a wider temperature range.

SEPTON™ 1000-series thermoplastic elastomers feature excellent clarity and good flowability due to the SEP structure. Their favorable characteristics, including high heat stability and excellent low-temperature properties, predestine them for use in viscosity improvers. Other SEPTON™ grades and KURARAY LIQUID RUBBER are also suitable. Kuraray’s products are used primarily in engine and transmission oils and other automotive applications.

Viscosity index improvers enhance the performance of oils.

Features and benefits

  • Narrow molecular weight distribution for shear stability
  • Low glass transition temperature and amorphous structure
  • Hydrogenation
  • Excellent low temperature properties
  • Excellent heat stability
  • Excellent VII and thickening agent for oil
  • Better fuel efficiency with viscosity modified oil
  • Synthetic engine oil increases engine lifetime

5G and telecommunication
thixotropic gel

In the field of 5G and telecommunications, the protection of telecommunications cables is of paramount importance to ensure safe, uninterrupted communication performance. Thixotropic gels play an important role in this context by providing protection against water penetration as a cable filling compound and by serving to fill cavities in groups of cores such as telecommunications cables and optical fibers.

As a filler in the optical fiber, thixotropic gels ensure that no tensile or compressive forces are exerted on the sensitive optical fiber as far as possible, thus helping to increase the service life of the telecommunications cables. Thixotropic gels do not flow when they are at rest, but liquefy temporarily when subjected to mechanical stress, such as shearing. This buffers the optical waveguide from external influences. The filling compound also ensures that no water can penetrate the space between the optical waveguide and the cable sheath.

The broad range of SEPTON™ products are preferred materials in the manufacture of such gels. Kuraray’s elastomers can be used across a wide range of hardnesses. Characteristics like low melt viscosity, excellent low temperature behavior and superior processability at a low shear rate, ensure unmatched processability and flexible gel compounds. Moreover, the flowability of the gels is consistently stable due to their thixotropic properties.

Thixotropic gels protect cables from external influences.

Features and benefits

  • Lower permeability to water and water protection
  • Lower permittivity / conductivity
  • Higher rates
  • Lower resistance

Drilling fluids

For drilling fluids in the oil and gas industry, Kuraray has various grades of KURARAY LIQUID RUBBER in its range, which are used as additives to optimize performance. In drilling wells, for example in oil and gas drilling or exploration drilling, the drilling fluid has the task of transporting the cuttings out of the well. Other tasks of drilling fluids are to provide hydrostatic pressure to prevent formation fluids from entering the wellbore and to keep the drill bit clean and cool during drilling. High-viscosity KURARAY LIQUID RUBBER grades, liquid butadiene- and isoprene-based rubbers, help enhance the performance of drilling fluids through improved rheological and mechanical properties.

Drilling fluids improve the efficiency and longevity of drilling operations.

Features and benefits

  • Low glass transition temperature and amorphous structure
  • Hydrogenation
  • Excellent low temperature properties
  • Excellent heat stability
  • Excellent lubrication
  • Less machine wear
  • Excellent VII & thickening agent for oil

Mold release agent

Mold release agents play an important role in various applications in the construction, automotive and metalworking industries. For example, in the die casting and metal alloys, they prevent the mold and the component from sticking together during the molding process. As a result, the manufactured component can be removed from the mold without damage. At the same time, mold release agents can also influence the surface finish and thus improve the further processing of the component.

Kuraray has KURARAY LIQUID RUBBER and ISOBAM™ as additives for mold release agents in its portfolio. While the liquid rubbers based on butadiene and isoprene are used for mold release agents, for example, in tire production or the manufacture of other rubber products, the alkaline water-soluble polymer ISOBAM™ is used in mold release agents for the separation of metal. Kuraray’s products ensure a smoother production flow in all applications and help to ensure high product quality.

Mold release agents prevent the mold and the component from sticking together.