Carbon black
Overview
 
Carbon black is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 products such as FCC
Fluid catalytic cracking
Fluid catalytic cracking is the most important conversion process used in petroleum refineries. It is widely used to convert the high-boiling, high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions of petroleum crude oils to more valuable gasoline, olefinic gases, and other products...

 tar, coal tar
Coal tar
Coal tar is a brown or black liquid of extremely high viscosity, which smells of naphthalene and aromatic hydrocarbons. Coal tar is among the by-products when coal iscarbonized to make coke or gasified to make coal gas...

, ethylene cracking tar, and a small amount from vegetable oil
Vegetable fats and oils
Vegetable fats and oils are lipid materials derived from plants. Physically, oils are liquid at room temperature, and fats are solid. Chemically, both fats and oils are composed of triglycerides, as contrasted with waxes which lack glycerin in their structure...

. Carbon black is a form of amorphous carbon
Amorphous carbon
Amorphous carbon or free, reactive carbon, is an allotrope of carbon that does not have any crystalline structure. As with all glassy materials, some short-range order can be observed...

 that has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, although its surface-area-to-volume ratio is low compared to that of activated carbon
Activated carbon
Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, activated coal or carbo activatus, is a form of carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very large surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.The word activated in the name is sometimes replaced...

. It is dissimilar to soot in its much higher surface-area-to-volume ratio and significantly lower (negligible and non-bioavailable) PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons , also known as poly-aromatic hydrocarbons or polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, are potent atmospheric pollutants that consist of fused aromatic rings and do not contain heteroatoms or carry substituents. Naphthalene is the simplest example of a PAH...

 content.
Encyclopedia
Carbon black is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 products such as FCC
Fluid catalytic cracking
Fluid catalytic cracking is the most important conversion process used in petroleum refineries. It is widely used to convert the high-boiling, high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions of petroleum crude oils to more valuable gasoline, olefinic gases, and other products...

 tar, coal tar
Coal tar
Coal tar is a brown or black liquid of extremely high viscosity, which smells of naphthalene and aromatic hydrocarbons. Coal tar is among the by-products when coal iscarbonized to make coke or gasified to make coal gas...

, ethylene cracking tar, and a small amount from vegetable oil
Vegetable fats and oils
Vegetable fats and oils are lipid materials derived from plants. Physically, oils are liquid at room temperature, and fats are solid. Chemically, both fats and oils are composed of triglycerides, as contrasted with waxes which lack glycerin in their structure...

. Carbon black is a form of amorphous carbon
Amorphous carbon
Amorphous carbon or free, reactive carbon, is an allotrope of carbon that does not have any crystalline structure. As with all glassy materials, some short-range order can be observed...

 that has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, although its surface-area-to-volume ratio is low compared to that of activated carbon
Activated carbon
Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, activated coal or carbo activatus, is a form of carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very large surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.The word activated in the name is sometimes replaced...

. It is dissimilar to soot in its much higher surface-area-to-volume ratio and significantly lower (negligible and non-bioavailable) PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons , also known as poly-aromatic hydrocarbons or polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, are potent atmospheric pollutants that consist of fused aromatic rings and do not contain heteroatoms or carry substituents. Naphthalene is the simplest example of a PAH...

 content. Carbon black is used as a pigment and reinforcement in rubber and plastic products.

The current International Agency for Research on Cancer
International Agency for Research on Cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer is an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organisation of the United Nations....

 (IARC) evaluation is that, "Carbon black is possibly carcinogen
Carcinogen
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes...

ic to humans (Group 2B)". Short-term exposure to high concentrations of carbon black dust may produce discomfort to the upper respiratory tract
Upper respiratory tract
The upper respiratory tract or upper airway primarily refers to the parts of the respiratory system lying outside of the thorax or above the sternal angle. Another definition commomly used in medicine is the airway above the glottis or vocal cords...

, through mechanical irritation.

Common uses

The most common use (70%) of carbon black is as a pigment and reinforcing phase in automobile tires. Carbon black also helps conduct heat away from the tread and belt area of the tire, reducing thermal damage and increasing tire life. Carbon black particles are also employed in some radar absorbent material
Radar absorbent material
Radar-absorbent material, or RAM, is a class of materials used in stealth technology to disguise a vehicle or structure from radar detection. A material's absorbency at a given frequency of radar wave depends upon its composition...

s and in photocopier and laser printer toner.

Total production was around 8100000 metric tons (8,928,721.6 ST) in 2006. About 20% of world production goes into belts, hoses, and other non-tire rubber goods. The balance is mainly used as a pigment in inks, coatings and plastics. For example, it is added to polypropylene
Polypropylene
Polypropylene , also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging, textiles , stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes...

 because it absorbs ultraviolet
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

 radiation, which otherwise causes the material to degrade.

Carbon black from vegetable origin is used as a food coloring, in Europe known as additive E153. It is approved for use in Australia and New Zealand but has been banned in the USA.

Reinforcing carbon blacks

The highest volume use of carbon black is as a reinforcing filler in rubber products, especially tires. While a pure gum vulcanizate of styrene-butadiene
Styrene-butadiene
Styrene-Butadiene or Styrene-Butadiene-Rubber is a synthetic rubber copolymer consisting of styrene and butadiene. It has good abrasion resistance and good aging stability when protected by additives, and is widely used in car tires, where it may be blended with natural rubber...

 has a tensile strength
Tensile strength
Ultimate tensile strength , often shortened to tensile strength or ultimate strength, is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before necking, which is when the specimen's cross-section starts to significantly contract...

 of no more than 2.5 MPa
MPA
-Academic degrees:* Master of Professional Accountancy* Master of Public Administration* Master of Public Affairs* Master of Physician's Assistant-Chemicals:* Medroxyprogesterone acetate, also known by the brand name Depo-Provera* Morpholide of pelargonic acid...

, and almost nonexistent abrasion resistance, compounding it with 50% of its weight of carbon black improves its tensile strength and wear resistance as shown in the below table. It is used often in the Aerospace industry in elastomers for aircraft vibration control components such as engine mounts.
Types of carbon black used in tires
Name Abbrev. ASTM
Desig.
Particle
Size
nm
Tensile
Strength
MPa
Relative
Laboratory
Abrasion
Relative
Roadwear
Abrasion
Super Abrasion Furnace SAF N110 20–25 25.2 1.35 1.25
Intermediate SAF ISAF N220 24–33 23.1 1.25 1.15
High Abrasion Furnace HAF N330 28–36 22.4 1.00 1.00
Easy Processing Channel EPC N300 30–35 21.7 0.80 0.90
Fast Extruding Furnace FEF N550 39–55 18.2 0.64 0.72
High Modulus Furnace HMF N683 49–73 16.1 0.56 0.66
Semi-Reinforcing Furnace SRF N770 70–96 14.7 0.48 0.60
Fine Thermal FT N880 180–200 12.6 0.22 --
Medium Thermal MT N990 250–350 9.8 0.18 --


Practically all rubber products where tensile and abrasion wear properties are crucial use carbon black, so they are black in color. Where physical properties are important but colors other than black are desired, such as white tennis shoes, precipitated or fumed silica
Fumed silica
Fumed silica, also known as pyrogenic silica because it is produced in a flame, consists of microscopic droplets of amorphous silica fused into branched, chainlike, three-dimensional secondary particles which then agglomerate into tertiary particles. The resulting powder has an extremely low bulk...

 has been used as a substitute for carbon black in reinforcing ability. Silica-based fillers are also gaining market share in automotive tires because they provide better trade-off for fuel efficiency and wet handling due to a lower rolling loss compared to carbon black-filled tires. Traditionally silica fillers had worse abrasion wear properties, but the technology has gradually improved to where they can match carbon black abrasion performance.

Pigment

Carbon black (Colour Index International
Colour Index International
Colour Index International is a reference database jointly maintained by the Society of Dyers and Colourists and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. It was first printed in 1925 but is now published exclusively on the web...

, PBK-7) is the name of a common black pigment, traditionally produced from charring organic materials such as wood or bone. It appears black because it reflects very little light in the visible part of the spectrum, with an albedo
Albedo
Albedo , or reflection coefficient, is the diffuse reflectivity or reflecting power of a surface. It is defined as the ratio of reflected radiation from the surface to incident radiation upon it...

 near zero. The actual albedo varies dependent upon the source material and method of production. It is known by a variety of names, each of which reflects a traditional method for producing carbon black:
  • Ivory black was traditionally produced by charring ivory or bones (see bone char
    Bone char
    Bone char, also known as bone black, ivory black, animal charcoal, or abaiser, is a granular material produced by charring animal bones. To prevent the spread of mad-cow disease, the skull and spine are never used...

    ).
  • Vine black was traditionally produced by charring desiccated grape vines and stems.
  • Lamp black was traditionally produced by collecting soot, also known as lampblack, from oil lamps.


Newer methods of producing carbon black have superseded these traditional sources, although some materials are still produced using traditional methods. For artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

al purposes, it is very useful.

Surface chemistry

All carbon blacks have chemisorbed
Chemisorption
Chemisorption is a sub-class of adsorption, driven by a chemical reaction occurring at the exposed surface. A new chemical species is generated at the adsorbant surface...

 oxygen complexes (i.e., carboxylic, quinonic
Quinone
A quinone is a class of organic compounds that are formally "derived from aromatic compounds [such as benzene or naphthalene] by conversion of an even number of –CH= groups into –C– groups with any necessary rearrangement of double bonds," resulting in "a fully conjugated cyclic dione structure."...

, lactonic, phenolic
Phenols
In organic chemistry, phenols, sometimes called phenolics, are a class of chemical compounds consisting of a hydroxyl group bonded directly to an aromatic hydrocarbon group...

 groups and others) on their surfaces to varying degrees depending on the conditions of manufacture. These surface oxygen groups are collectively referred to as volatile content. It is also known to be a non-conductive material due to its volatile content.

The coatings and inks industries prefer grades of carbon black that are acid oxidized. Acid is sprayed in high temperature dryers during the manufacturing process to change the inherent surface chemistry of the black. The amount of chemically-bonded oxygen on the surface area of the black is increased to enhance performance characteristics.

External links

  • Carbon black - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, CDC
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta...

     Website Entry
  • Carbon Black Industry from the Handbook of Texas
    Handbook of Texas
    The Handbook of Texas is a comprehensive encyclopedia of Texas geography, history, and historical persons published by the Texas State Historical Association .-History:...

    Online
  • carbon-black.org-International Carbon Black Association
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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