Step 1 - Pre-production.
Before reaching the Black Bear facility the steel is removed from the tires. It will also be recycled, thereby contributing to the circular economy solution.
Step 2. Carbonisation
Tire rubber is heated in the absence of oxygen under controlled conditions of temperature and time. The rubber is broken down into much smaller molecules which are released as a gas, leaving behind a solid carbonaceous char. This char is valuable because it contains all of the high value “furnace” carbon blacks that were used to manufacture new tires.
Step 3. De-agglomeration
‘De-agglomeration’ is the process of breaking down the carbonaceous char material into smaller particles (or aggregates). The process controls the ‘particle size distribution’ (PSD) of the final product. PSD is a key product performance property as it relates to carbon black’s reinforcing effect in rubber compounds.
Step 4. Pelletising
Pelletising solves the handling and storage problems associated with fluffy carbon black powder by effectively increasing its bulk density by three to four times. During this step the fluffy carbon black is combined with controlled amounts of water and binding agents in a pelletiser mixer. Large volumes of air are removed from the carbon black powder and pellets.
Step 5. Drying
Water that was used in the pelletising step is now evaporated under controlled conditions. A very small amount of binding agent remains behind and ensures that the dried pellets hold together with sufficient strength to withstand packaging and transportation handling. The pellets are also soft enough to be easily broken down to their original primary particle size.
Step 6. Finished Product
The end result, our carbon black, reaches its final destination. Providing a unique balance of mechanical and dynamic reinforcing characteristics with extremely low PAH, our carbon blacks as a sustainable, one-to-one replacement to many ASTM furnace carbon blacks in tires and technical rubber goods.