Chain Transfer Agents

Product range

Mercaptans are commonly used as reactants in the manufacturing processes of many common rubber and thermoplastic materials.

The use of mercaptans allows for fine control of the molecular chain length during polymerization, leading to easy processing conditions and mechanical performance of the resulting polymer.

Using a chain transfer agent enables a narrower molecular weight distribution and leads to better processibility and mechanical properties of the resulting polymer.

Arkema provides a range of chain transfer agents:

Heavy mercaptans:

  • Normal Octyl Mercaptan (NOM
  • Normal Dodecyl Nercaptan (NDM)
  • Tertiary Dodecyl Mercaptan (TDM)
  • Tertiary Nonyl Mercaptan (TNM)


  • 1,8- Dimercapto- 3,6- dioxaoctane (DMDO)

Thioglycolic Acid:

  • TGA

It is recommended that you choose your chain transfer agent based on the physical properties that are required for the material, as reviewed below.

Physical properties of final materials:


  • Melt Flow
  • Processability
  • Stability
  • Heat Resistance
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Secondary Function
  • Others

Constraints of process:


  • Cost effectiveness
  • Efficiency of CTA
  • Reaction Rate
  • Phase of reaction
  • Open/Closed System
  • Sourcing
  • Others

Choice of CTA:


  • TDM
  • TNM
  • NDM
  • NOM
  • TGA
  • DMDO

Arkema’s CTA’s are heavily used by customers in a variety of polymer processes, such as the production of rubber, latex, acrylics and derivatives, PMMA, ABS, and PS.


√ Low or not water solubility         ∼ Medium to fully soluble in water


Applications TDM  NDM NOM DMDO TGA
Rubber (SBR/NBR)  √        
Latex (SB latex/XSBR)        
Acrylics and derivatives  √  ∼  ∼
PS  √        

Several factors affect a material’s performance, such as the polymerization recipe, the polymer structure (molecular weight and MFR sensitivity), and the material performance properties, including service temperature, MFR, mechanical properties, product consistency, and thermal stability.


Geographic availability



  • Automotive and transportation
    • Polymer and rubber
  • Chemical and plastics industry
    • Polymer engineering
  • General industry
  • Packaging and Paper
    • Paper
    • Paper and board
    • Rigid packaging
    • Specialty paper
  • Paint, coatings and adhesives
    • Acrylic resins


  • Chain transfer agent

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