Truck on the road with tires visible.

Carbon Black Changes Transportation Industry

Jack Clem, CEO of Orion Engineered, says their bold and unique product Carbon Black can improve transportation efficiency and lower costs in the trucking industry by as much as 10% to 12% per year.

Clem says that using carbon black technology will help strengthen the transportation industry, particularly trucking.

In this exclusive interview with Bold Business, Clem explained that Carbon Black is a “transformative product for the tire industry.” This additive, a by-product of oil production, can improve the tread wear of truck tires and eventually extend their lives.

He went on to add that in the trucking industry, the primary expenses of fleet owners are the cost of the truck, fuel, drivers, and tires. Giving them significant savings per year opens up a lot of opportunities to grow their business and expand their fleet.

Carbon Black is an important component in tire manufacturing. In terms of demand, tires and the manufacturing of other automotive parts make up the bulk of uses for this product. Used to reinforce tires and other vulcanized rubber products, it improves resiliency, durability, tear-strength, and other properties.

A by-product of Carbon Black, called “rubber carbon black” is used as an affordable rubber reinforcing agent in tire treads, inner liners, and sidewalls. The same material is used in mechanical rubber goods which include industrial rubber goods; rubber automotive parts like hoses, sealing systems and anti-vibration parts; as well as general rubber goods like hoses, seals, belts, and gaskets; and membrane roofing.

Changing the Face of Transportation

In 2016, total car tire sales in the US amounted to $32.1 billion. Clem says that using carbon black technology will help strengthen the transportation industry, particularly trucking.

A concept image of carbon links.

Carbon Black adds extra strength and durability to a tire.

The technology actually improves the tire and extends its life by conducting eat away from the tread and belt area. Performance properties are enhanced when engineers combine Carbon Black with different tread and carcass grades. This allows them to optimize handling, tread wear, hysteresis, abrasion resistance and improve fuel mileage.

Clem’s company, Orion Engineered Carbons, is a leading manufacturer of Carbon Black products, including specialized uses for plastics, inks, paints and pigments, coatings, sealants, and adhesives. The company is noted for its high-quality Specialty Carbon Blacks, Gas Blacks, and Furnace Blacks; tints, paints, inks, and pigments.

Aside from tires and the transportation industry, there are also other applications for this product. Among them are rubber goods manufacturing, engine belts, and automotive hoses. It can also be used to improve non-woven fabrics, metallurgy, non-impact printing, PVC pipes, paper, and lithium-ion batteries.

Clem notes that they’re selling Carbon Black in the market right now as well as working with major tire companies around the world to explore possible applications.

About Staff Writer

This article was written by a member of the Bold Business editorial team.