Annual Report 2015DEEN



More affordable, more ergonomic, and even more sustainable—latex mattresses based on Evonik products promise more comfortable sleep even for demanding sleepers. They also apply a chemical byproduct useful and efficiently.

We spend about a third of our lives in bed. That’s already reason enough to select materials carefully when you’re buying a mattress. After all, the wrong choice can cause countless problems. If you’re allergic to house dust, you’ll suffer from irritation of the eyes and the respiratory tract; if you’re sensitive to cold, you’ll shiver throughout the winter; and if you have back problems, you’ll be kept awake by pain or wake up with stiff muscles. And if you’re overweight, you’ll tend to sink into your mattress instead of relaxing on top of it. A latex mattress can help you avoid all of these problems.

However, natural latex is expensive, and some of the regions where latex-producing rubber trees are grown are under criticism because rain forests are being logged to make room for rubber tree plantations.

For decades, butadiene has been an important raw material in the tire, paper, and plastic industries. The demand for synthetic rubber will boost growth.Dr. Gerhard Himmel

Vice President Marketing & Sales,
Rubber & Plastics Marketing Area
Performance Intermediates Business Line

Evonik offers a more economical raw material for latex production: butadiene. This chemical is used to produce synthetic latex, which is cheaper and, by contrast to natural latex, does not become brittle when it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation. And because butadiene is a byproduct of the processing of crude oil, its use is practical and sustainable.

Most mattress producers use a combination of natural and synthetic latex, in a ratio of up to 40 percent natural with the remainder synthetic latex. Butadiene makes about 40 percent of synthetic latex, but there are also production processes that use an even higher proportion of butadiene.

For many people, latex mattresses are a good choice. They are especially appreciated by people who are allergic to house dust mites. Latex mattresses have an antibacterial coating and are therefore more hygienic and easier to keep clean. There’s practically no opportunity for dust mites to settle in. When it comes to comfortable sleep, latex mattresses generally also get excellent marks. They feel pleasantly warm and efficiently filter off moisture. People who are tall and heavy or suffer from backaches appreciate the high degree of point elasticity, which results in greater comfort. Who wouldn’t be tempted to stay in bed just a little longer?

Evonik products can be found not only in mattresses but also in upholstery cushions and insulation foams. A variety of foams for industry are made especially robust, fine-pored, and evenly textured through the use of additives from Evonik.