Silica has become an important raw material for tire and rubber industry. Over the period of years, environmental norms and initiatives to reduce pollution and landfill has motivated and boosted the tire industry globally to produce tires with improved performance and longevity that will reduce tire waste thus reducing pollution. More than half of the natural and synthetic rubber produced is consumed by the tire industry globally. Various natural and synthetic rubbers need proper additives and fillers to achieve the desired properties for final products. The primary elastomer reinforcing filler are carbon blacks and precipitated amorphous silica. Precipitated silica being used as filler reduces the rolling as well as cut, chip and chunk resistance. A produced tire should deliver the three most important properties i.e. rolling resistance, tread-wear and wet grip which forms the magic triangle of tire properties and should have an inter-balance between all these properties. Globally precipitated silica is more preferred as compared to carbon black because of its eco-friendly nature and great reinforcing power. Moreover the highly porous structure of precipitated silica provides a significant advantage in dispersion properties as compared to conventional silica. In addition to it, by varying the precipitation condition a diversified variety of products can be manufactured that is helpful for large number of various applications.
Apart from being used as reinforced fillers in tires, it also finds its applications in foot-wears, conveyor belts where high grade rubber is being used to improve hardness and abrasion resistance. Thus Asia-Pacific region, being the world largest automobiles market, is driving the market for precipitated silica in terms of reinforced fillers. Although the market for precipitated silica is moderately consolidated, rising demand associated with the specific products has led to entry of new manufacturers to develop customize solution for precipitated silica on a smaller scale.
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