Dutch technologists have carried out research into a more environmentally friendly car tyre. The scarcely mixable substances silica and rubber were mixed in a ratio that produced a tyre with a low rolling resistance and therefore a lower fuel use for the vehicle to which it will be fitted.
Louis Reuvekamp from the University of Twente mixed silica and rubber under the influence of organosilane. Tyre manufacturers normally use carbon black instead of silica to strengthen the rubber of car tyres. The organosilane used by the researchers acted as a coupling agent. It binds to the surface of silica and rubber, thus linking together two substances which can scarcely be coupled otherwise.
The ideal coupling temperature was determined experimentally. A temperature of at least 130 degrees Celsius is needed for the coupling agent to react with silica. The reaction temperature must not rise above 150 degrees Celsius, as at this temperature the rubber vulcanises and becomes too hard for further processing.
Nalinie Moerlie | alfa
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