Carbon Black in Polymers

Carbon blacks find a number of uses in polymer composites with the main ones being reinforcement, pigmentation, electric conductivity, as well as light and heat stabilization. By far, the largest use is as a reinforcing filler in elastomers, especially

Table 2 Typical properties of filler-grade carbon blacks

Primary particle size [nm]


BET SSA [m2/g]


DBP oil absorption [cc/100 g]


for use in tires. This entry focuses especially on the reinforcement function of carbon black in elastomers. More details on use in elastomers can be found in the ? Chaps. 6, “Particulate Fillers in Elastomers”, ? 15, “Precipitated and Fumed Silicas and Related Products”. The main uses of carbon blacks in other polymer types (thermoplastics and thermosets) are for electrostatic dissipative and electrically conductive compound properties as well as for pigmentation and UV absorption. In thermoplastics and thermosets, the incorporation of carbon black, like other fillers, increases the rigidity and brittleness of the filled polymer which can be undesirable. Therefore, to reduce the deterioration of the mechanical polymer properties, the carbon black filler loading is minimized. Some more details on the UV absorption and pigmentation effect of carbon black can be found below and in other reviews (Funt et al. 1993; Taylor 1997); details about carbon black for conductive polymer applications can be found in the ? Chap. 19, “Carbon Black for Electrically Conductive Polymer Applications”.

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