Carbon Black 101

What is Carbon Black?
carbon.jpgCarbon black is one of the darkest and most finely divided materials known. Chemically, carbon black is a colloidal form of elemental carbon consisting of 95 to 99 percent carbon. Made in specially designed reactors operating at internal temperatures in the range of 2600° to 3600° F, different grades of carbon black can be produced with varying aggregate size and structure. It is these differences that allow our blacks to be used in a variety of applications. SRCE has over 50 different grades of carbon black available for use in rubber, plastics, inks, and various other applications.

How is carbon black made?
While there are several processes in which carbon black is made, SCRE uses a furnace black process. In the furnace black process - aromatic oils (based on crude oil) are cracked under high temperaturein a reactor, producing carbon black and tailgas. After cooling, the carbon black is separated from the tailgas, densified, and processed into pellets of varying grades/sizes. This process is the most widely used in the U.S., comprising over 95 percent of all carbon black production.

What are the end uses for carbon black?
The particle size, structure, and surface area of carbon black plays a significant role in the material properties of rubber, plastics, and other products. For this reason, carbon black is made in various grades to meet the varying material needs and specifications of manufacturers. In general, carbon black grades with smaller particle size have better reinforcing and abrasion resistance qualities than those with larger particle size. Click here to check out carbon black products.