Extend cable life by creating exceptionally smooth and conductive insulation and conductor shield and UV resistant jacketing compounds with our Conductex and Raven products.

Birla Carbon offers industry-recognized conductive carbon blacks used in the conductor and insulation shields of medium and high voltage cables. Our Conductex range of carbon blacks impart electrical conductivity to conductor and insulation shield that bond with the metal conductors to provide a smooth interface and a homogeneously distributed electric field to the insulation and protect against corona damage to provide safe cable joints and terminations.

Our range of Conductex carbon blacks play a critical role in providing extended cable service life by offering protection from electrical stresses and weathering degradation.

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Areas of Benefits:

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Extremely low physical impurities and low compound moisture absorption leads to better dispersibility and filterability with enhanced surface smoothness, assuring consistent compound quality, reduced processing costs and longer cable service life.

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Conductex carbon blacks provide benchmark conductive performance at low loading with excellent processability and good strippability for medium voltage cables.

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Our carbon blacks provide improved dispersibility, consistent compound quality, reduced processing costs and enhanced surface smoothness.

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Raven carbon blacks provide optimum UV protection by converting UV radiation into heat resulting in excellent weathering performance to enhance the service life of cable.

Uses & Benefits of Carbon Black in Plastic Applications

Applications In Cables And Power Lines

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Frequently Asked Questions

Carbon black refers to engineered carbon nanoparticles that are fused together to form unique 3-dimensional aggregates. Carbon black, in its pure form, is a fine black powder. It is produced by partial burning and pyrolysis of oil residues or natural gas at high temperatures under controlled process conditions. Carbon black is different from charcoal. Carbon black has a complex particulate structure that is formed in a gas phase produced from fully pyrolyzed hydrocarbons at high temperatures. Charcoal is produced by the pyrolysis of wood or other carbonaceous materials at lower temperatures and is in bulk or milled powder form. Due to their structural and morphological differences, they have distinctly different performances.
Carbon black is usually made from hydrocarbon oils, e.g., refined coal tar or heavy petroleum oil, or natural gas. Hydrocarbons derived from recycled tires, and biomass, e.g., wood, etc., are gaining increasing attention as sustainable sources of feedstock.

Carbon black is a vital component in making many of the products we use every day strong, appealing, durable and safe. Some of these solutions include tires, automotive weatherstrip and belts, plastic parts, coatings, inks and sealants. For example, tires without reinforcing carbon black would not run over 100 miles. As a pigment, carbon black offers desired color strength for applications ranging from electronic enclosures to automotive coatings, and household appliances. Carbon black imparts UV durability to rubber and plastic goods to ensure their service life for a few decades. As an electrically conductive additive, carbon black renders insulative rubber and plastic materials antistatic, electrodissipative or conductive to provide safety and protection, and thereby reliability for mining, electronic packaging, and wire and cable applications, to name a few.

In principle, carbon black can be stored for many years in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated location.  According to ATM D 8043 Standard Guide for Carbon Black — Shelf Life, “the shelf life of carbon black is defined as indefinite when stored in a manner that protects it from liquid water or high humidity environments. The only two properties of carbon black known to change over time are moisture and Iodine number. The moisture content can change over the short-term (weeks or months), depending on the ambient humidity and the surface area of the carbon black. Iodine number can change over an extended period (years) due to a slow increase in the oxygen content on the surface of the carbon black.”   However, “the slight change in Iodine Number over an extended period does not affect actual surface area properties and in-rubber performance of the carbon black.”

Detailed guidelines may be found in carbon black’s safety datasheet (SDS) provided by the manufacturer or supplier, or in Carbon Black User’s Guide provided by ICBA (International Carbon Black Association).

Below are a few examples: 1) Avoid dust formation; do not breathe dust; provide appropriate local exhaust to minimize dust formation; do not use compressed air; 2) Take precautionary measures against static discharges; 3) Maintain safe work practices, including the elimination of potential ignition sources in proximity to carbon black dust, good housekeeping to minimize accumulation of dust, and appropriate exhaust ventilation design and maintenance to control airborne dust levels, etc.; 4) Handle in accordance with good industrial hygiene and safety practices.5) Use process enclosures and/or exhaust ventilation to keep airborne dust concentrations 6) Wear appropriate PPEs. e.g., respirators, masks, safety glasses or goggles, protective glove, and clothing, etc.

The industry has made tremendous progress in recovering carbon black for re-usage.  One of the examples is to reclaim carbon black from post-consumer tires and reuse it for tires or other applications.  After years of extensive research and development, Birla Carbon has introduced ContinuaTM Sustainable Carbonaceous Material (SCM) to make circularity a reality.  Please visit https://www.birlacarbon.com/continua/ or contact a Birla Carbon representative for details.

The certificate of analysis (COA) provided by the manufacturer or supplier summarizes a carbon black product’s key properties, including iodine or nitrogen surface area, structure (OAN), cleanliness (sieve residue).  that the COA may be used as a starting point to assess if the product meets quality requirements.  Please contact a Birla Carbon representative for assistance.

According to ICBA Carbon Black User’s Guide, “Carbon black produced by certain processes has been approved under specific circumstances and for specific uses involving (indirect) contact with food.” Specific government regulations, e.g., US FDA, EU (EU) 10/2011 determine carbon black’s indirect food contact applications.  Please contact your Birla Carbon representative for details.

Carbon black is a material that absorbs light, and its ability to absorb light, i.e., blackness or jetness, is positively correlated with its surface area. Therefore, carbon blacks with larger surface areas offer higher jetness and bluetone.  Another key factor impacting color is carbon black’s dispersion.  Inferior dispersion results in inferior color.  There is a trade-off between carbon black dispersion and surface area: carbon blacks with higher surface area tend to be more difficult to disperse.  Therefore, it is important to choose the right carbon black for your jetness and bluetone requirements.

A tinting carbon black is used to reduce the reflectance of a white pigment, e.g., TiO2, when used together.  Its efficiency, called tinting strength, is dependent of a few key carbon black properties, including surface area and aggregate size distributions, and the dispersion quality.  Carbon blacks with larger surface area and smaller aggregate size show higher tinting strength even with a small amount of carbon black. However, these blacks are more difficult to disperse, which affects the tinting strength.  In addition, carbon blacks with lower surface area usually exhibit desired bluer undertone in the tinting application.  Therefore, carbon black products with relatively low surface area and easy dispersion are often used for tinting.

Since carbon black absorbs all light, including UV, it is used as one of the most cost-effective and non-consumable UV protection additives. The characteristics of carbon black most closely related to UV absorption performance are as follows:
– Higher surface area leads to higher UV absorption.
– High structure improves dispersion, thus increases UV absorption.
– Porosity increases the number of aggregates in unit weight thus increases the number of absorption sites to achieve improved UV absorption.

It is worth mentioning UV protection tends to level off for surface areas higher than ~100 m2/g. Therefore, choosing a carbon black with right surface area and dispersibility is important to meet one’s UV protection needs.

In general, highly conductive carbon blacks tend to have a higher surface area, higher structure, higher porosity, but lower surface activity, i.e., higher chemical cleanliness. In addition, higher loading and improved dispersibility also lead to increased conductivity.  When one chooses a carbon black for conductive applications, the following aspects should be considered: optimized compounding conditions, processibility, desired conductivity, retention of mechanical performance including tensile strength, elongation and impact strength, and cost.  For some applications like wire and cable, smooth surface finish is also critical.  Please contact your Birla Carbon representative for assistance.