Check out the latest innovations we are unveiling at Compounding World Expo in Essen, Germany, 29-30 September 2021…

Meet CarbonX®

Unlocking new design possibilities

What is CarbonX®?

CarbonX® is a new carbon material composed of nano-sized carbon filaments which are chemically connected to form a three-dimensional micron-sized network. This extraordinary structure makes it possible to combine properties in new ways, the key to unlocking new design possibilities that can deliver high performance while minimizing environmental impact.

The combination of mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties that CarbonX® offers are determined by the size, strength, and uniformity of its structure…

STRUCTURE

3D Network

The ability to combine properties and outperform other additives relies on the stability and uniformity afforded by CarbonX®’s network of interconnected carbon filaments. The network itself is flexible, but not easily crushed, so that CarbonX® remarkably strong in comparison to other fillers. Because CarbonX® is isotropic, it has excellent dispersion and polymer-filler interaction, which leads to very homogenous compounds with consistent properties throughout.

3D Network

The ability to combine properties and outperform other additives relies on the stability and uniformity afforded by CarbonX®’s network of interconnected carbon filaments. The network itself is flexible, but not easily crushed, so that CarbonX® remarkably strong in comparison to other fillers. Because CarbonX® is isotropic, it has excellent dispersion and polymer-filler interaction, which leads to very homogenous compounds with consistent properties throughout.

Carbon Filaments

CarbonX® is composed of nano-sized crystalline filaments which not only provide strength and reinforcement, but also function as a route for conductivity. Each grade has a unique filament length and thickness, which are determined and controlled in the production process. Because the filaments are chemically bonded, CarbonX® exhibits isotropic properties and has the ability to retain its structure and properties where other materials fail.

Aggregates

CarbonX® forms aggregates which are strong and isotropic. Isotropy and narrow size distribution ensure better dispersion and uniformity, which translates into greater reproducibility and resource efficiency. The relatively large, micron-sized structure leads to low-viscosity compounds, which improves processability. Exceptional aggregate strength enables CarbonX® to withstand high shear, so compounds can be re-processed and recycled multiple times without property loss.

Crystallites

Crystallites are the graphite-like building blocks of the filament. The unique combination of high crystallinity and crystallite alignment within the 3D microstructure enables the isotropic transfer of electrons and forces, allowing for good conductivity and mechanical energy transfer. The large crystallite size also contributes to strength and prevents breakage by shear.

Pores

CarbonX® has exceptional pore strength, uniformity, and accessibility, which ensures perfect embedding into a polymer. The precise pore size is controlled during production, along with filament length and thickness. The pore structure is stable and accessible, ensuring CarbonX® disperses evenly and bonds effectively with the polymer, which improves the mechanical performance of the compound. The pores are strong, so they don’t break upon processing. This means compounding and conversion can be optimized for high productivity and all features will be retained in the final product.

How It’s Made

CarbonX® is made by emulsifying an oil feedstock which then functions as a “blueprint” to create a unique 3D network structure of carbon filaments. The emulsion is vital for achieving the uniform properties that define each CarbonX® grade.

 

Production

CarbonX® is produced in existing carbon black manufacturing plants and supplied to industries worldwide. This production model gives us the agility required to scale up production capacity quickly and efficiently, so we can supply the quantities our clients need, when they need it – from pilot projects to full-scale manufacturing.

Our available production capacity is approximately 200,000 tonnes per year and all CarbonX® grades comply with REACH regulations.

Processability

CarbonX® can be described as missing link between the performance of a nano-structure and the processability of a micron-sized material. Its isotropic, porous, and micron-sized structure provides the basis for excellent processability and homogeneity when CarbonX® is embedded in a polymeric matrix.

Low viscosity, exceptional strength
High shear often leads to the breakage of carbon black aggregates and results in low uniformity and loss of properties. However, CarbonX® has greater aggregate strength, which leads to better dispersion and lower viscosity than carbon blacks.

Higher throughput, faster production times
The ability to withstand more aggressive processing conditions makes CarbonX® easier to process because it doesn’t require any special equipment, low loading, or extra processing steps. This gives manufacturers the freedom to increase throughput, reduce production times, and lower energy usage and CO2 emissions.

 

Recyclability

Many clients are looking to improve the sustainability by ensuring their products are more easily recycled. CarbonX® can be re-processed or recycled multiple times without loss of mechanical and electrical properties. Faulty parts or off-cuts can be re-processed directly instead of being thrown away – thus improving resource efficiency and reducing waste.

 

So is CarbonX® a carbon black?

Yes… and no.
CarbonX® is produced in carbon black plants and it is classified as a carbon black in terms of substance ID, so when it comes to safety and handling, the carbon black regulations apply. However, because of its distinct structure, CarbonX® behaves differently than carbon black.

Better conductivity, reinforcement, and uniformity
For instance, CarbonX® has narrower particle size distribution, which results in greater homogeneity. The crystallites in CarbonX® give it better conductivity and reinforcement, while greater aggregate strength translates in lower viscosity and shear sensitivity.