BOSTON—Cabot Corp.'s Cabot Elastomer Composites business unit has launched a new class of materials aimed at dramatically improving the durability and performance of elastomers.
Called Transfinity elastomer composites, the products are created by mixing reinforcing particles, such as carbon black, with rubber latex, producing materials that are stronger than conventional elastomer offerings, according to David Reynolds, business manager, Transfinity elastomer composites.
He said that customers in the mining, automotive, defense and aerospace industries can use Transfinity materials to engineer significantly longer lasting and/or smaller products for demanding applications.
“The transformational performance of Transfinity products has been validated in tire and defense applications, and we are on a path to commercialization in those markets,” said Sameer Bharadwaj, general manager of Cabot Elastomers Composites.
For example, Reynolds said the new materials can improve rubber pads or tracks on military vehicles, allowing tanks to travel further without service. That reduces the need for in-field service, which can often be life-threatening in a hostile environment, he said.
In addition, the products can improve the service life of critical components in airplanes and helicopters, the company said.
A variety of new possibilities exist in terms of engineering design, Reynolds said. In the case of automotive applications, for instance, the high durability of the new composites can create opportunities to design smaller lightweight suspension components that reduce the weight of a vehicle and improve fuel economy, he said.
The performance of the composites has been validated in tire applications where the unique properties of the materials—low hysteresis, high resistance to abrasion, cutting, shipping and tearing—can help improve tire durability and rolling resistance, the company said.
Bharadwaj said Transfinity composites could be used to create durable protective liners for mineral processing equipment in the mining industry. With the durable liner, “mine operators can reduce down time, improve energy efficiency, and increase output and revenues from existing assets,” he said,
It took Cabot about 10 years to fully develop the new brand of composites as the company searched for new ways to develop better fillers in elastomers.
As it moved along in its research, the company saw the need across the board for more durable materials, which launched the probe for the Transfinity line, Reynolds said.