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Surface-Modified Blacks

Posttreatment to modify the surface of carbon blacks is little practiced in the conventional filler applications, but has been used for a long time in some of the other areas (e.g., oxidation to increase porosity and introduce acidic functionality). A recent introduction has been carbon blacks that have had organic groups grafted to the surface by using diazotization. These can be used as such or as a means of attaching further functionality. The drive for improved tire tread performance has led to interest from at least one producer in use of treatments such as ozonization. This is for use with special functionalized elastomers, which typically contain carboxylic acid groups that can react with the surface groups introduced by ozonizing.

Unconventional Sources

Sustainability issues are growing within the tire industry and also on the material suppliers to that industry. As one of the largest tonnage components, this very much affects carbon black. Nonoil feedstocks are being developed, as well as regeneration of carbon blacks by rubber pyrolysis. This is in its infancy, but will be of increasing importance.

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