MSc assignment: silanization degree for better control of rubber mixing process
Apollo Tyres Global R&D BV, like Apollo Vredestein BV, is situated in Enschede (NL) and is a part of Apollo Tyres Ltd. We are responsible for the development and testing of all car and van tyres for all the brands held by the company (including Apollo and Vredestein). These activities are performed for all markets worldwide by about 120 employees.
Since the early 1990s silica is added as filler to tire tread compounds to replace carbon black. This allowed to obtain “green tires” with reduced rolling resistance and decreased fuel consumption of the car. However, silica is polar and has no affinity with non-polar rubber chains, which makes these components in a compound incompatible. As a result, the rubber properties are not satisfactory. To enhance the compatibility and boost the performance of the rubber material, silane coupling agents are added during mixing as compatibilizer and link between silica and the rubber chains. However, due to differences in the equipment and mixing schemes in tire plants, it is challenging to ensure a consistent silanization degree even with the use of a fixed mixing process.
Hence, there arises the need to quantify the extent of reaction between the silane and silica. This is necessary to achieve a controllable and consistent silanization degree during mixing and, as a result, to obtain the desired rubber properties.
The objective of this assignment is to develop a straightforward test method, which will allow for determination of the silanization degree.
The following steps will be performed:
• Literature research on silanization process, with main focus on silanization degree measurements
• Identification of various physical and chemical methods to measure the silanization degree
• Determination of the silanization degree with use of chemical and physical methods
• Data analysis and study of the relation between results from various techniques
• Development of a method that can be used to check the silanization degree
• You have a bachelor degree in Chemistry, Polymer Science, Material Science, Chemical Technology or related subject;
• Interest in physical and chemical methods of polymers characterization;
• Ease of finding reliable academic information;
• Excellent skills of data analysis and understanding the relation between data sets;
• Good speaking and writing skills in English.
If you fit these requirements and are interested in the position, send a cover letter and curriculum vitae to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about this internship, please contact Marie-Claire Marton, Laboratory Manager, on +31 53 488 85 50, or Katarzyna Bandzierz, Researcher, on +31 53 488 87 23.