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Carbon Blacks: What’s New?

SpecialChem / Michel Biron – Aug 26, 2008

Carbon blacks (CB) are added to polymers for: 1. the reinforcement of the elastomers, which induces an increase of the mechanical properties. During many years tyres were reinforced with carbon black only but now the precipitated silica competes it. 2. the light protection: a low level stops UV at the surface but the colour is dark grey or black. 3. colouring. 4. conductivity enhancement: Special conductive blacks are developed to make conductive the inherently insulating polymers. Carbon blacks can also save costs: 1. By decreasing the rubber weight (and its cost) used to obtain the same mechanical performances 2. By increasing the functional performances as abrasion resistance. The new grades and the research works follow three strategies: 1. New improvements in their properties thanks to innovative manufacturing processes, 2. Modification of interactions with the polymer host by surface treatments, 3. Enter in an alliance with another reinforcing filler to combine their forces and mitigate their weaknesses.

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