Challanges in the processing of silica filled compounds on an industrial scale
Gerard Nijman, Louis Reuvekamp, Casper van de Pol Vredestein Banden B.V., Enschede
The application of silica as a white filler in tread compounds for passenger car tyres has been grown tremendously in the last decade. Tyre performance, such as wet skid, ice and snow properties and rolling resistance, could be improved enormously and justified the problems during the production of silica compounds. During mixing of silica compounds a chemical reaction is taking place. As a matter of fact rheology, tackiness and compound properties depend a lot to the degree of silanisation. The within batch variation of this chemical reaction and batch to batch variation do cause a lot of problems in processing such compounds. The presentation will show the results of a EU sponsored research project, called SATPRO. Especially on the applicability on industrial scale of the results will be focussed. The chemical reaction is influenced by the amount of ethanol in the compound, a side result product of the chemical reaction. It will be shown that the rate of silanisation will be higher if the ethanol concentration in the compound is lower. Practical solutions to take away the ethanol out of a mixer will be discussed during the presentation.