Material analysis for tires – revealing material composition through many tiny pinholes

WERKSTOFFANALYTIK FÜR REIFEN

We determine through state-of-the-art quantitative atomic force microscopy (AFM) the local composition and get an insight high-resolution view of the material properties. Examination of different areas of the sample surface can lead to a three-dimensional model and help to understand the material behavior and the mixing quality of the product. AFM can help you to enhance the development of polymer-based products and automobile tires.

New findings for tire development

This knowledge is highly important to understand the specific properties of automobile tires. You can use the AFM for quality control or for optimization of production process and use of resources.

Depending on tires intended use as summer or winter tire or for a car, truck or aircraft wheel it is essential to achieve the correct ratio of rolling resistance and adhesion. For the product development, which starts on the molecular level, it is important to know the material composition and the distribution of the rubber types and fillers.

Insertion of the sample on the scanning stage of the atomic force microscope
Insertion of the sample on the scanning stage of the atomic force microscope

Computer-assisted image analysis

This high-resolution method enables to depict the distribution of the different types of rubber, such as the soft and sticky natural rubber, hard butadiene rubber and a few tens of nanometers sized carbon black particles. The material distribution has a huge influence on the tires’ durability. Besides a graphic depiction of the material distribution in the finished tires, we can determine the mechanical properties, e.g. loss tangent. These properties are crucial for the quality classifications of state-of-the-art tires.

Computer-assisted image analysis of material analysis state-of-the-art tires
Computer-assisted image analysis of material analysis state-of-the-art tires

We are able to determine the bound rubber coat of the carbon black particles. The rubber coat is important to implement the fillers into the tires. We analyze this nanometer-sized coat by computer-assisted image analysis. The results of AFM measurements match with the results of wet chemical analysis. An optimal sample preparation is necessary.

High-resolution image of the distribution of components in a car tire
High-resolution image of the distribution of components in a car tire

Characterizing the connection between soot and the matrix

With quantitative atomic force microscopy, we can characterize and depict the correlation between the carbon black particles and the rubber matrix. Furthermore, this technique enables to perform bound rubber measurements of vulcanized samples.

Upon request, we will develop a customized material characterization method for you.

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