Research area: Particle-Filled Elastomers

Research sponsor: MRB

Project overview

Characterisation of Multi-component Inhaled Dry Powder Formulations

The improvements in both abrasion and rolling performance for fuel efficient silica-filled tyre compounds remains a challenge for the tyre manufacturers and researchers. At present, the relationship between filler particle surface properties, interfacial mechanics of filler-elastomer, filler-humidity interaction, filler particle dispersion are not fully understood for these complex filled elastomers, especially for these newer silica fillers.

The focus of the present study is to understand the effects of surface chemistry of precipitated silica and silanised silica on rubber reinforcement. This research will investigate the surface properties of these silicas using molecular adsorption approaches.

This will include N2 BET adsorption, water vapour adsorption as well as inverse gas chromatography at a range of surface coverages. This will provide a comprehensive surface thermodynamic description of these silica fillers. In turn this data will allow filler-elastomer interactions to be described more realistically. The research will potentially provide an in-depth understanding on the impact of these surface chemical changes on particle dispersibility, particle-elastomer interaction as well as the extensive mechanical parameters.


J. Y. Y. Heng and D. R. Williams, “Solid State Characterization of Pharmaceuticals. Chapter 8: Vapour Sorption and Surface Analysis”, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., United Kingdom (2011).
R. Ho and J. Y. Y. Heng, “A Review of Inverse Gas Chromatography and its Development as a Tool to Characterize Anisotropic Surface Properties of Pharmaceutical Solids”, KONA Powder and Particle Journal (2013), 30, 164-180.