Evonik Degussa GmbH Advanced Fillers & Pigments Business Unit, with 18 sites worldwide and an annual production of about 1.2 million metric tons, is the world’s second-largest supplier of Carbon Black. From the time in the early 20th Century when the exceptional properties of Carbon Black as reinforcement filler for tires were discovered, the tire industry remains the largest customer by far with approximately 85% of our production. At the same time, this by-product of incomplete combustion continues to play an important role as a black pigment in the manufacture of paints and lacquers. In addition, Pigment Black is also used in the plastics, fiber/paper and construction industries.
Performance silica – an area in which Evonik Degussa GmbH is the market leader with an annual capacity of about 250,000 metric tons at seven sites worldwide – are also becoming more and more important in the tire industry. Initially, silicas were used as fillers mainly in light-colored rubber products, which precluded the use of Carbon Black for obvious reasons. Today, performance silica used in conjunction with Carbon Black and Rubber Silanes in tires help improve fuel consumption, handling and longevity. Performance Silica from Evonik Degussa GmbH also serve as Matting Agents (ACEMATT), defoaming components as well as to improve the coverage of dispersion paints. Performance silica in ink-jet papers ensure that the ink is quickly absorbed and the pigments are bonded to the paper surface, ensuring a crisp printout. Performance Silica also play a significant role as a carrier substance, e.g. for handling vitamins, or to help regulate flow properties, e.g. in fire extinguishers, and create micropores in battery separators so that they become ion-permeable. They also serve as cleaning and filler agents in toothpaste.
Evonik Degussa GmbH leads the market in the production of organosilanes for the rubber industry. These organic performance silica combinations work as helpers in the bonding process between rubber and performance silica in rubber products. In the beginning when performance silica were used as reinforcement fillers, the difference in chemical surface between rubber and performance silica made it difficult to durably bond the two. This ultimately had a negative effect on product quality. Evonik Degussa GmbH organosilanes remedy the problem by bonding to the filler with a performance silica grouping on one hand and bond to the rubber with an organic grouping on the other, effectively bridging the two components. One noteworthy success in this area is Si 69®, developed by Degussa in the early 70s and which is now used extensively in a variety of formulations in tires, sports shoe soles, printing rolls and gaskets.