1. “Carbon black is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as FCC tar, coal tar, ethylene cracking tar, and a small amount from vegetable oil. Carbon black is a form of amorphous carbon that has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, although its surface-area-to-volume ratio is low compared to that of activated carbon. It is dissimilar to soot in its much higher surface-area-to-volume ratio and significantly lower (negligible and non-bioavailable) PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) content. However, carbon black is widely used as a model compound for diesel soot for diesel oxidation experiments. Carbon black is used as a pigment and reinforcement in rubber and plastic products.
The current International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluation is that, "Carbon black is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)". Short-term exposure to high concentrations of carbon black dust may produce discomfort to the upper respiratory tract, through mechanical irritation.\ The most common use (70%) of carbon black is as a pigment and reinforcing phase in automobile tires. Carbon black also helps conduct heat away from the tread and belt area of the tire, reducing thermal damage and increasing tire life. Carbon black particles are also employed in some radar absorbent materials and in photocopier and laser printer toner.
Total production was around 8,100,000 metric tons (8,900,000 short tons) in 2006. About 20% of world production goes into belts, hoses, and other non-tire rubber goods. The balance is mainly used as a pigment in inks, coatings and plastics. For example, it is added to polypropylene because it absorbs ultraviolet radiation, which otherwise causes the material to degrade.
Carbon black from vegetable origin is used as a food coloring, in Europe known as additive E153. It is approved for use in Australia and New Zealand but has been banned in the USA.
The highest volume use of carbon black is as a reinforcing filler in rubber products, especially tires. While a pure gum vulcanizate of styrene-butadiene has a tensile strength of no more than 2.5 MPa, and almost nonexistent abrasion resistance, compounding it with 50% of its weight of carbon black improves its tensile strength and wear resistance as shown in the below table. It is used often in the Aerospace industry in elastomers for aircraft vibration control components such as engine mounts.”
(Wikipedia, Carbon Black, 6/19/2012)
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Roger D. Corneliussen
Maro Polymer Links
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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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* Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 6/19/2012.