Hydrophobized MFC as Reinforcing Additive in Industrial Silica/SBR Tire Tread Compound


Liu M., Imiete I.E., Staropoli M., Steiner P., Duez B., Lenoble D., Scolan E., Thomann J.S.


Polymers, vol. 15, n° 19, art. no. 3937, 2023


Silica is used as reinforcing filler in the tire industry. Owing to the intensive process of silica production and its high density, substitution with lightweight bio-based micro fibrillated cellulose (MFC) is expected to provide lightweight, sustainable, and highly reinforced tire composite. MFC was modified with oleoyl chloride, and the degree of substitution (DS) was maintained between 0.2 and 0.9. Subsequently, the morphology and crystallinity of the modified MFC were studied and found to be significantly dependent on the DS. The advantages associated with the use of the modified MFC in synergy with silica for the reinforcement of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) nanocomposite was investigated in comparison with silica/SBR compound. The structural changes occasioned by the DS values influenced the processability, curing kinetics, modulus-rolling resistance tradeoff, and tensile properties of the resultant rubber compounds. We found that the compound made with modified MFC at a DS of 0.67 (MFC16) resulted to the highest reinforcement, with a 350% increase in storage modulus, 180% increase in Young`s modulus, and 15% increase in tensile strength compared to the referenced silica-filled compounds. Our studies show that MFC in combination with silica can be used to reinforce SBR compound for tire tread applications.



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