Abstracts of the VKRT meetings of Plastic and Rubber sector      


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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

Influence of silica filler distribution on properties of tire rubber treads, as related to silica characteristics

Objective: Silica has grown substantially over the last decade as reinforcing filler for rubber tire treads, for reason of lower rolling resistance compared to carbon black reinforcement. So-called highly dispersible silicas are being used. The objective was to identify the primary silica characteristics, influencing the performance in tire treads. Experimental approach: The effect of rubber mixing conditions on macro- as well as on microdispersion of silica was studied, using conventional till highly dispersible silicas with different BET-surfaces and Structure. Macro-dispersion was studied by optical means, micro-dispersion with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Summary of results: The macro- and microdispersion vary with difference in silica samples, particularly with various DBP-structures. Low structured silicas show poor macrodispersion, vs. medium structured/semi dispersible and very good microdispersion for highly structured/highly dispersible silicas. Microdispersion measurements show an increased level of primary silica particles for higher structured silicas, where these are primarily dispersed to the microdispersion level, with only 15-20% remaining in the macrodispersion regime. The dynamic mechanical properties of a tire tread primarily depend on the microdispersion level. Too large filler-filler interactions, causing poor dynamic mechanical properties, are mainly due to aggregates with a size over 600 nm. Also the tensile properties are primarily influenced by the presence of aggregates with diameters larger than 600 nm.