High performance silica is mostly used in polymer reinforcement - in particular rubber and elastomers - or as "carriers" for powdered food ingredients.
Rhodia’s full range of precipitated silicas Zeosil® et Tixosil® are specially designed to improve dispersibility, absorption, abrasion or transparency. Their main markets are the tire industry, nutraceutics and toothpaste.
Rhodia’s silicas are amorphous, precipitation-generated products obtained from a process that includes mixing sand and sodium carbonate and baking the mixture to obtain a sodium silicate.
After dissolution and dilution, the resulting sodium silicate is neutralized through precipitation with sulfuric acid, which is a significant stage in the production of high performance silicas. A filtration process eliminates by-products. The high performance silicas are thereafter washed, dried, crushed and stored.
As the inventor of high-performance silicas in the 1990s, and the current world leader in silica technology, Rhodia was the first to introduce on the market a dust-free Micropearl form of precipitated silica. Rhodia has participated in the development of a variety of innovative products such as energy-efficient tires, which are used by the major tire manufacturers to reduce vehicle’s fuel consumption as well as CO2 emissions.
Rhodia’s latest innovation for the tire industry is the brand new Zeosil® Premium range, a new generation of high surface-area silica offering lower resistance and greater performance.