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Polymer Additives

Carbon Blacks as Polymer Additives

SpecialChem / Michel Biron – May 26, 2003

Each neat rubber or plastic has specific properties that can be modified and enhanced by additives. Carbon black is a very important additive for rubbers. The most important role of a carbon black is: * Reinforcement of elastomers to enhance their mechanical properties. But it is also used in rubbers and plastics for: * Light protection. * Coloring * Conductivity enhancement. It is also possible to save costs: * By decreasing the rubber weight (and its cost) used to obtain the same mechanical performances * By increasing the functional performances as abrasion resistance. This paper concerns rubber reinforcement, and the coloring and light protection of plastics as well as rubbers. A future paper will concern the conductive property enhancement. What are carbon blacks? Carbon blacks are obtained by cracking oil or gas organic feedstocks in a limited oxygen atmosphere. They can be obtained via several processes : * Channel starting from gas, leading to acidic and slow curing carbon blacks. * Furnace starting from oil. Most commonly used today for rubber reinforcement.

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