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Polybutene - flexible and robust


Polybutenes (PB) are thermoplastic polyolefins produced by the polymerisation of butene. Their mechanical properties lie between those of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). In the industry, their low tendency to creep, low risk of stress cracking, flexibility, transparency and high temperature resistance are particularly favoured. They are suitable for the production of adhesives and sealants, pipework, rubber or films for food packaging. Find out more about the polybutenes from TER Chemicals, their areas of application and chemical properties with all their advantages in industrial production.

Polybutenes are liquid, transparent and colourless polymers that are synthesised on the basis of C4. They are obtained from the butene group of molecules (isomeric hydrocarbons). PBs are similar to polyisobutylenes, but differ from them in some respects. The characteristic properties of polybutene include its low tendency to creep and high creep rupture strength, high temperature resistance, good flexibility and chemical resistance to solvents. Their good oxidising properties and high UV resistance are also positive characteristics. The polymers differ mainly in their molecular weight and the associated viscosity. Depending on the process control and polymerisation reaction, PBs can be produced in the desired viscosity range, which allows polybutenes to be used flexibly. They are highly flammable and not weather-resistant unless they are additionally stabilised.

Polybutene (also known as polybutylene) is a thermoplastic polyolefin. Special Ziegler-Natta catalysts are used for the polymerisation of butene to PB. The polymerisation product forms a soft, elastic material on cooling. This is due to the partial tetragonal crystallisation. On further cooling or under pressure, PB shrinks further. In this so-called hexagonal phase, density and hardness increase. Thermoplastic processing is carried out by injection moulding or extrusion at temperatures above 190 °C.


Our polybutenes are used in adhesives and sealants, rubbers, and a number of other applications. Among others, these include oils and fluids, as well as films.

Our polybutenes are used in lubricants, adhesives, sealants, coatings, rubber, oils, liquids, packaging films and a whole host of other applications. Liquid polybutene is also used as a thinner in the manufacture of many hot-melt adhesives (otherwise known as hot glue) at a specific melting point. In addition, it acts as a processing aid when added to sealants. Polybutene is able to enhance the adhesive properties and flexibility of glues and sealants and is often used in conjunction with resins in such applications.

With an international network of reliable manufacturers, TER Chemicals is a trusted supplier of polybutene and other additives for adhesives. Feel free to talk to us about your needs.

Polybutene is a particularly suitable additive in rubber production. Due to its high molecular weight, polybutene does not tend to crack when subject to stress and therefore gives the elastic raw material a high level of flexibility. In cling masterbatches, polybutene acts as a cling agent to impart a slight stickiness to plastic food wraps. The compound can furthermore improve the viscosity index of mineral oils. Finally, polybutene is just as useful in polymer blends due to its ability to help optimize the chemical properties of the end product.




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