In recent years, many patents have been published that are claiming the use of low molecular weight ‘liquid’ polymers in tire tread applications. Herein, tire producers generally introduce improved balances of the tire performances such as wet grip, abrasion resistance and rolling resistance. To understand the influence of the low molecular weight ‘liquid’ polymers in detail, an investigation was carried out to create more clarity about the influence of the structure of these polymers on in-rubber properties and about their interaction with the base polymers and fillers. One basic formulation was selected: A silica filled compound with styrene butadiene copolymer (SSBR), polybutadiene (BR) and natural rubber (NR) that is representing a winter tire tread formulation. Different structures of the low molecular weight ‘liquid’ polymer were added to this compound and compared. Results are discussed for the curing torques and crosslink densities to evaluate the influence on the crosslinking. Payne effect and bound rubber content was measured to evaluate the filler-filler interactions and filler-polymer interactions, respectively. The mechanical properties and dynamic mechanical analysis results deliver finally indications for the expected tire performance.
|Early online date||21 Apr 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2020|
- Liquid polymer
- Polymer and filler network
- Tire treads
- Crosslink density