Conference Q&A: Michael Morris, Cabot Corporation

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What can you tell us about the project upon which your presentation at Tire Technology Expo 2016 will be based?

It is well known that for wet grip, silica reinforced compounds generally offer better performance than carbon black reinforced compounds. Most passenger car tires now use predominantly silica in the tread as a reinforcing filler. At Cabot Corporation we’ve been undertaking research to close this performance gap with the ultimate aim of developing a new carbon black.

What was your hypothesis?

We believe that tire tread debris particles, present on a tire’s surface due to tire wear, influence wet grip traction. We believe that these are removed more efficiently on the surface of silica reinforced tires and that may be one of the reasons why they perform better in the wet. We have done both lab experiments and tests on a wet track to analyze this. 

What is the next step in this research?

Our research has shown that this definitely is a mechanism and our next step is to develop an improved formulation for carbon black tread compounds. We can’t find a lot of literature on this but we believe that other companies may have conducted similar research and, at the conference, we’re hoping to gain some input in order to pursue the project further.

Visit Cabot Corporation at stand C408 at Tire Technology Expo 2016, which takes place on February 16-18 at Deutsche Messe in Hannover, Germany.

February 9, 2016

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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