The tire industry is looking for ways to push the current generation of tires to the next level. An area that has gotten a lot of attention lately is how to improve fuel economy of tires.
One way that tire companies are able to do this is by loading high amounts of silica into the tread compound, which requires larger amounts of silane coupling agents so that the silica can react with the polymer as a reinforcing filler.
The old generation of silanes released ethanol when mixing the tire compound; this release of ethanol is classified as a volatile organic compound.
For this reason, the tire industry is moving to the next generation of mercapto silanes, which release low to no ethanol.
In addition, these new silanes can act as an accelerator within a typical sulfur cure system. This paper will look at ways to slow down the cure kinetics of the next generation silanes so that the rheology can better match up with the old generation of silanes.
This, in turn, will allow for tire companies to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds released from their plants all while using the same processing equipment.