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Abstract of Stretched Solutions for the Rubber Industry This seminar is a joint initiative of the Alpha Technologies, DSM Elastomers, TNO Industrial Technology, Rubber Technology Group University Twente and the VKRT      2004

The influence of the mixing parameters on the efficiency of the silanisation reaction in an internal mixer

The replacement of carbon black by silica in tread compounds results in a better performance of the tire in terms of wet-grip, abrasion resistance and rolling resistance, the latter resulting in a reduced fuel consumption of the car. The most important characteristic of a silica-filled cured rubber is the network formed between filler and polymer with the aid of a coupling agent, commonly bis(triethoxysilylpropyl)tetrasulfide (TESPT). The first step in the internal mixer, the reaction of the silanol groups of the filler with the ethoxy-groups of the coupling agent, is an equilibrium reaction. The efficiency hereof is improved by removing ethanol generated during the silanisation reaction. This can be achieved by efficient ventilation of the mixing chamber in order to avoid condensation of ethanol and input of mechanical energy in order to facilitate evaporation of the alcohol out of the rubber material. An efficient cooling of the compound allows to work close to the upper temperature limit of the TESPT and to avoid scorch. The analysis of the uncured compounds was done with a Rubber Process Analyzer (RPA) as it allows direct measuring of the Payne-effect, a property related to the rolling resistance of the tire tread. During a strain sweep measurement the breakdown of the remaining filler-filler network is monitored giving an indication of the degree of silanisation. [Acknowledgement] This investigation was done in the framework of the EEC project SATPRO. Further participants in this project are: Prof. Dr. A. Limper, K.-U. Kelting, University of Paderborn, Institute of Plastics Engineering, Fb10KTP, 33095 Paderborn, Germany Dr. H. Keuter, T. Boettcher, Krupp Elastomertechnik GmbH, Gummimischtechnik, P.O.Box 1180, 57258 Freudenberg, Germany G. Nijman, C. v. d. Pol, Vredestein Banden B.V., P.O. Box 27, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands W. Matzke, Austrian Automobile-, Motorcycle- and Touring Club (