||September 22, 2004
The Tire Industry will be facing many challenges in the 2000's. One of which is the variation of rubber performance throughout the tire service life. Maintaining properties and performance throughout a tire service life is directly related to maintaining the integrity of the vulcanizate structure under thermal and / or oxidative conditions. Historically, this has been achieved by reducing the sulfur content in the crosslinks through the use of more efficient vulcanization systems. However, as with many changes in rubber compounds, there is a trade-off which in this case is a reduction in performance characteristics such as fatigue and tear resistance. This paper presents several compounding approaches to achieve improved aged compound characteristics with minimum compromise in performance properties. In addition, recent work on increased productivity without compromise in properties using these compounding approaches will also be reviewed.