Under regulated conditions, carbon black is virtually pure elemental carbon in the form of colloidal particles formed by incomplete combustion or thermal decomposition of gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons. It has the appearance of a finely divided black pellet or powder. Its properties of specific surface area, particle size and shape, conductivity, and colour influence its use in tyres, rubber and plastic products, printing inks, and coatings. Carbon black is also among the top 50 industrial chemicals produced annually in terms of tonnage. Global production is currently around 8.1 million metric tonnes. Carbon black is used in approximately 90% of rubber applications, 9% as a dye, and the remaining 1% as an important component in hundreds of different applications.
Carbon black is applied to polypropylene to absorb ultraviolet radiation, which would otherwise weaken the material. Some radar absorbent papers, photocopier and laser printer toner, and other inks and paints contain carbon black particles. Carbon black's high tinting power and stability have led to its use in the colouring of resins and films. Carbon black has been used in a variety of computer applications. Carbon black is used as a filler in plastics, elastomers, films, adhesives, and paints because it is a strong conductor of electricity. It's used in car fuel caps and pipes as an antistatic additive.
Carbon black is most commonly used as a reinforcing filler in rubber products, especially tyres. While a pure gum vulcanization of styrene-butadiene has a tensile strength of just 2 MPa and no abrasion resistance, compounding it with 50% carbon black by weight increases its tensile strength and wear resistance, as shown in the table below. It's often used in elastomers for aircraft vibration control components like engine mounts in the aerospace industry. Carbon black is used in almost all rubber products where tensile and abrasion wear properties are significant, so they are black in colour. Precipitated or fumed silica has been used to replace carbon black in applications where physical properties are necessary but colours other than black are needed, such as white tennis shoes. Silica-based fillers are also gaining traction in automotive tyres, where they offer a better balance of fuel efficiency and wet handling thanks to lower rolling loss.
Types of Carbon Black
· Hard Blacks (also known as tread grades or reinforcing Carbon Black) are a form of furnace Carbon Black with a nitrogen surface area of at least 70 m2/g.
· Soft Blacks (also known as carcass grades or semi-reinforcing Carbon Black) are a form of carbon black with a nitrogen surface area of 21 to 69 m2/g.
In 2006, total production was estimated to be around 8,100,000 metric tonnes (8,900,000 short tonnes). Carbon black consumption in 2015 was projected to be 13.2 million metric tonnes, worth US$13.7 billion, and is forecast to rise to 13.9 million metric tonnes, worth US$14.4 billion, in 2016. Between 2016 and 2022, global demand is expected to rise at a CAGR of 5.6 percent, reaching 19.2 million metric tonnes estimated at US$20.4 billion. Carbon black is most commonly used as a pigment and reinforcing process in vehicle tyres (70 percent). Carbon black also aids in the transfer of heat away from the tread and belt areas of the tyre, reducing thermal damage and extending the life of the tyre. Belts, hoses, and other non-tyre rubber products account for around 20% of global demand. The remaining pigment is mostly used in inks, coatings, and plastics. Entrepreneurs who invest in this project will be successful.