Carbon black

Carbon black

Carbon black is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as FCC tar, coal tar, ethylene cracking tar, and a small amount from vegetable oil. Carbon black is a form of amorphous carbon that has a high surface area to volume ratio, and as such it is one of the first nanomaterials to find common use, although its surface area to volume ratio is low compared to activated carbon. It is similar to soot but with a much higher surface area to volume ratio. Carbon black is used as a pigment and reinforcement in rubber and plastic products.

The current International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluation is that, "Carbon black is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)". Short-term exposure to high concentrations of carbon black dust may produce discomfort to the upper respiratory tract, 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 materials and in printer toner.

Total production is about 8.1 million tonnes (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.

Carbon black from vegetable origin is used as a food coloring, in Europe known as additive E153.

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 has a tensile strength of no more than 2.5 MPa, 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.

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 fused silica is a decent competitor to 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.


Carbon black (Colour Index International, PBL-7) is the name of a common black pigment, traditionally produced from charring organic materials such as wood or bone. It consists of pure elemental carbon, and it appears black because it reflects almost no light in the visible part of the spectrum. 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).
* 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 artisanal purposes, it is very useful.

urface chemistry

All carbon blacks have chemisorbed oxygen complexes (i.e., carboxylic, quinonic, lactonic, phenolic 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.

See also

*Activated carbon


* Doerner, Max. "The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting: With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters", Revised Edition. Harcourt (1984). ISBN 0-15-657716-X. This is a contemporary English language edition of a work originally published in German.
* Meyer, Ralph. "The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques". Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated. Viking (1991) ISBN 0-670-83701-6
* [ Carbon Black: A users guide] . Published by the International Carbon Black Assosciation.

External links

* [ Carbon black] - "NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards", CDC Website Entry
* [ Carbon Black Industry] from the Handbook of Texas Online
* [] -International Carbon Black Association

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • carbon black — n. finely divided carbon produced by the incomplete burning of oil or gas: used in making rubber, ink, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Carbon Black — Carbon Black, aus Amerika kommender, durch Verbrennen von natürlichen Gasen unter vermindertem Luftzutritt hergestellter Ruß von tiefer Schwärze, aber mitunter etwas körniger Beschaffenheit. Andés …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • carbon black — ● carbon black nom masculin Désignation de certains noirs de carbone …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • carbon black — any of various finely divided forms of amorphous carbon prepared by the partial combustion of hydrocarbons, as of natural gas, or by charring wood, bones, or other plant or animal tissues: used in pigments, as reinforcing agents in the… …   Universalium

  • carbon black — dujų suodžiai statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Labai smulkūs C milteliai, susidarantys nevisiškai sudeginus gamtines dujas arba alyvą. atitikmenys: angl. carbon black; gas black; impingement black; micronex rus. газовая сажа; микронекс …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • carbon black — suodžiai statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Smulkiadispersė mikrokristalinė arba amorfinė anglis. atitikmenys: angl. black; carbon black rus. сажа …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • carbon black — noun a black colloidal substance consisting wholly or principally of amorphous carbon and used to make pigments and ink • Syn: ↑lampblack, ↑soot, ↑smut, ↑crock • Derivationally related forms: ↑smut (for: ↑smut), ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • carbon black — noun Date: circa 1889 any of various colloidal black substances consisting wholly or principally of carbon obtained usually as soot and used especially in tires and as pigments …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • carbon black — noun A fine black powder of amorphous carbon manufactured by the incomplete combustion of natural gas or oil, and used as a pigment in the manufacture of ink and paint. Used as a filler in rubber like polymers and rubber. It helps the polymers… …   Wiktionary

  • carbon black — car′bon black n. chem. any of various finely divided forms of amorphous carbon, used in pigments, in the manufacture of rubber products, and as clarifying or filtering agents • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

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