The strong structure can be processed very easily without breaking down, keeping the performance of the rubber compound at an optimum level. This enables properties to be combined in new ways, resulting in design possibilities which can deliver both high performance and improved sustainability aspects when utilized in tire tread compounds.
Features of CarbonX include pore structures inside of the aggregates which are big enough for the polymers to get in, resulting in better filler/polymer interaction and improved end properties.
Aggregates within the tire – in the micro size range – deliver greater processibility to stop small aggregates from making the compound more viscous.
“All of these things combined together translate into tire performance and enable us to break what is called the magic triangle. We can improve rolling resistance, abrasion and the grip,” commented Vincenzo Roberto Calderone, head of marketing, CarbonX.
“The benefit it will bring when used within tires is during the use phase. For ICE [vehicles] and EV tires, most of the sustainability comes from the amount of CO2 you can save in the use phase, because you are burning fuel, or the electricity comes from not 100% renewable stocks, so you still have to pay a CO2 price,” added Calderone. “If you are able to make your tire more efficient in terms of energy or fuel, you will benefit in terms of CO2 emissions. This is the gain in sustainability that we provide to the tire business.”
A CarbonX formulation, without traditionally used carbon black and silica has also been used to produce a tire compound with Kraiburg Austria. The compound was then taken to Reifen Hinghaus to manufacture a re-treaded summer tire which is also on show. When compared to conventional tire compounds, the newly created compound resulted in rolling resistance being improved by 9% and abrasion resistance by 2%. Wet grip was also improved by 7% and dry grip by 25%.
“During production there was no real property loss, unlike normal carbon blacks which can have a good result in the laboratory, but end with a drop in performance once the tire is produced,” explained Kris Sierkstra, Business Developer, CarbonX. “We didn’t experience this; our lab results were good and so were our factory scale results.”