ABSTRACT

The physical properties of rubber compounds are mainly determined by the filler dispersion within the rubber matrix, filler–rubber interaction, and chemical crosslink structure caused by sulfur. Carbon black or silica is typically used as a reinforcing filler in tire tread compounds; however, binary filler systems comprising the two types of filler are also currently being used to complement each other. This study used binary filler systems to manufacture vulcanizates and classified the vulcanizate structures as chemical crosslinks caused by sulfur, physical crosslinks caused by carbon black (carbon black–bound rubber), and silica–silane–rubber networks caused by silica and silane. The effect of each vulcanizate structure on the physical properties was also calculated. In the proposed binary filler system, silica chemically bonds with rubber molecules, unlike carbon black. Therefore, the crosslink density per unit of silica content was 19% higher than that of carbon black, in which rubber molecules were physically adsorbed on the surface. Tensile properties affected by 1 unit of crosslinking density for each filler were calculated, and silica was found to contribute more in the low-elongation range, whereas carbon black contributed more in the high-elongation range. Regarding tan δ at 60 °C and abrasion resistance per unit crosslink density of filler, carbon black made a greater contribution than silica, whereas silica had a greater contribution to wet traction and snow traction.

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