Improved mechanical properties for automotive rubber applications
Rubber parts in automotive applications are exposed to some of the toughest physical environments. Using our minerals as processing aids and multifunctional fillers in automotive rubber components helps them meet stringent design specifications and increase end product lifespan.
We offer an extensive portfolio of minerals to improve the mechanical properties, permeability, compression set, aesthetics and overall performance of tires, under-the-hood and hydraulics parts, hoses, car body seals and fluoroelastomer (FKM) fuel injector O-rings.
Imerys minerals are key functional additives in the tire production process.
Our hyper-platy kaolins such as our Hydrite® SB100 kaolin improve the air permeability and gas barrier of inner tire liners enabling down gauging and contributing to better fuel efficiency as well as extending service life. It can also be used as an alternative to carbon black without impairing mechanical performance.
Our Hydrite SB60 product can be incorporated at significant loading, reducing formulation costs and improving permeability performance at standard inner liner gauge.
Kaolin offers the following benefits:
- Durability (service life)
Our minerals are the perfect solution for producing tires with low rolling resistance (LRR). Our high aspect ratio talcs improve the impermeability of inner liners, lowering rolling resistance, enabling downgauging and contributing to better fuel efficiency. Used in partial replacement of carbon black, our high aspect ratio ImerFlex HAR® talcs provides improved barrier properties without impairing the mechanical performance and flowability of the compound. ImerFlex HAR talcs enable tire manufacturers to reduce tire permeability by up to 40%.
Partial replacement of carbon black
Our minerals are excellent partial replacements for carbon black in O-rings, car door seals, gaskets and hoses.
Partial replacement of carbon black by mineral fillers:
- Improves compound flow
- Maintains mechanical properties
- Improves thermal and weather ageing
- Improves impermeability
- Reduces electrical conductivity
The primary use of automotive gaskets and seals is to keep liquids (fuel, oils and brake fluids) and gases (air conditioning gas, exhaust gases) in, or to keep them out. To do this, gaskets and seals must have excellent compressive properties.
We recommend our PoleStar™ and Glomax™ calcined kaolin ranges for improving compression set in gaskets and seals.
One of the most important characteristics defining hose performance is impermeability. Once installed, hoses generally have a long lifecycle in potentially harsh environments. Ageing performance is therefore crucial. Our high aspect ratio talcs such as our ImerFlex HAR range confer excellent barrier properties to rubber compounds, reducing permeability significantly. This key attribute offers new possibilities for hose end-use performance, such as fuel hoses, and enables downgauging.
Kaolins such as our Hydrite SB100 and Hydrite SB60 ranges also provide excellent barrier properties to rubber compounds.
Talc is an excellent choice for eliminating yellowing and iridescence in EPDM car body seals guaranteeing a better long-term appearance of EPDM profiles. Replacing carbon black with talc also enhances mattifying and reduces electrical conductivity.
Calcined kaolin provides outstanding extrusion properties, producing an excellent surface finish and low compression set. Calcined kaolin also reduces electrical conductivity and protects against corrosion
We recommend our ImerFlex talc and PoleStar and Glomax calcined clays for EPDM applications.
Fluoroelastomers (FKM) are the most challenging sealing applications. Seals produced from FKM provide the optimal balance of thermal resistance, chemical resistance and sealing strength.
Used in colored applications, our wollastonites provide:
- Reduced compound viscosity
- Equivalent hardness
- Good aging properties
- Low compression set
We recommend our Wollastocoat® range for FKM applications.
Our flux-calcined diatomaceous earth such as our CelTix™ product is also suitable solutions for both white and colored FKM applications where it provides low compression set and reduced oil swelling.
Imerys talc is an excellent anti-sticking agent in compound handling, processing and part manufacture. Coarse and platy talc grades are ideal for use in powder form or as talc-water coatings to prevent unvulcanized rubber-to-rubber adhesion in tire demolding, the manufacture of rubber goods and for cable compounds.
- Luzenac 2 coarse grade for mechanical powdering
- Luzenac 10M2 finer grade for water coatings
Related product ranges
Carbon black is an extremely versatile substance which is making an increasingly valuable contribution to the automotive industry. Imerys is the leading supplier of highly conductive carbon-based solutions for conductive carbon black used in lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles and consumer electronics. It is also a valuable ingredient in polymer compounds used in electronic devices and the automotive industry.
Kaolin is a rock from which the clay mineral kaolinite is derived. This one has been used for millennia as the principal ingredient in porcelain tableware. Today Imerys kaolins bring critical properties to a host of end applications ranging from paper to paints, fiberglass to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.