Essen, Germany – Evonik Industries has developed a new, active filler for the tire industry which it says “significantly improves” the traction of winter tires in snowy and slushy conditions.
Ultrasil 4000 GR is claimed to be the first low surface area (LSA) silica that also offers very good dispersibility, enabling “very high filler levels” in the tire tread, thereby improving traction compared to tires using conventional silica.
Despite its high filler quantity, this silica can easily be dispersed into the rubber compound, according to Bernhard Schäfer, SVP rubber silica at Evonik.
“Even after short mixing processes, it is possible to create compact rubber batches with good sheet appearance,” Schäfer said in a 5 May statement.
In addition to tire treads, the product can be used in sidewalls and non-tire applications such as mechanical rubber goods (MRG) or shoe soles, Evonik noted.
The new silica materials will initially be produced at Evonik’s new precipitated silica line at the Adapazarı site in northern Turkey.
The line started operations in autumn 2019 with the goal of strengthening the company’s position as "a global partner for the tire industry."
According to Evonik, the new production line has ‘significantly expanded’ its annual capacity for the manufacturing of silica and created 40 new jobs.