Ahead of Carbon Black World 2023
, we spoke with Jian Chen
, Professor at Sichuan University of Science & Engineering
, to get a sneak peek of what we can expect from his presentation on 'Foundation of ultra-high Hardness on Carbon Black and its Effect on Rubber Reinforcement & Wear Resistance'
. Here's what he had to say...
Q1. Your presentation at this year’s Carbon Black World will cover CB reinforcement and wear resistance theory. Why is it important for others in the industry to hear this message? What are some of the key take-aways?
Carbon black's application in rubber reinforcement is widely recognized as an essential milestone in the rubber industry, second only to Mr. Goodyear's discovery of rubber vulcanization However, researchers have different views on the mechanism of the reinforcing mechanism of carbon black is still in the stage of different opinions so far.Seventeen years ago, I became interested in the Devil's Triangle of carbon black reinforcement and started researching it. Herein, I'll talk about our new findings. We came up with the concept of ultra-high hardness on the surface of carbon black and how it was discovered. We think that when the tire rolls on the ground it's thousands of black carbon particles touching the ground rather than rubber polymer chains. The new tire is put into use and the polymer chain in contact with the ground soon wears off, exposing carbon black. The ultra-high hardness of carbon black surface is similar to diamond or graphene sheet, which is the key factor for the wear resistance of rubber tire. The second key factor closely related to this is the bonded rubber layer formed on the carbon black surface. These studies are helpful to understand why there are many fillers with ultra-hard surface, but carbon black is unique. In this conference, I will systematically introduce our understanding of bonded rubber layer, and the correlation between binding adhesive and three elements of traditional carbon black surface, namely particle size, surface high structure and activity.
This is very important for carbon black production enterprises, tire enterprises, according to which some rules can be formed to adjust the production process or predict the performance of the tire.
Q2. What are the main challenges that the industry is facing and how do you think that this conference can address them?
With the retire of the older generation of black carbon scientists, research on the basic theory of black carbon has almost come to a standstill. The reverse gas chromatography proposed by the famous scientist Wang Mengjiao and JB.Donnet many years ago to distinguish the surface activity of carbon black has not been implemented in the enterprise and has not become the relevant international standard. Compared with virology studies of the same molecular level, we know almost nothing about the active site and nature of carbon black. In the past three years, every time there is a mutation of the novel coronavirus, Scientists around the world worked almost around the clock to reveal the active sites and vaccines, specific drugs, and two protein markers on the surface of influenza viruses, such as H1N1, including 16 H and 9 N.
If we can not make clear the nature of carbon black reinforcement, a lot of tire technology will fall into passive, such as the emergence of endless replacement filler, big data and artificial intelligence will replace us, for our real-time detection of the work of the tire. The arrival of the era of electric vehicles requires us to study new carbon black for new energy vehicle tires, rather than just focus on conductive carbon black. At present, many carbon black enterprises and enterprises in many other industries are eager to invest in conductive carbon black whose total demand is not too large, and overcapacity is bound to appear in a few years. Here we call on carbon black enterprises to pay attention to the main uses of our carbon black tires, invest some funds appropriately, and attract researchers, especially researchers from universities. This is important for our carbon black industry.
Q3. What are you most looking forward to hearing and/or seeing at Carbon Black World 2023?
Mostly, I am looking forward to seeing everybody in person again and to learn of the progress made since the last conference.last but not least, I hope my theory can help the carbon black industry and be recognized by everyone.