Total production was around 8,100,000 metric tons (8,900,000 short tons) in 2006. The most common use (70%) of carbon black is as a pigment and reinforcing phase in automobile tires. Carbon black also helps conduct heat away from the tread and belt area of the tire, reducing thermal damage and increasing tire life. Carbon black particles are also employed in some radar absorbent materials and in photocopier and laser printer toner, and other inks and paints. The high tinting strength and stability of carbon black has also provided use in coloring of resins and films. About 20% of world production goes into belts, hoses, and other non-tire rubber goods. The balance is mainly used as a pigment in inks, coatings and plastics.
Carbon black has been used in various applications for electronics. As a good conductor of electricity, carbon black is used as a filler mixed in plastics, elastomer, films, adhesives, and paints. Application of carbon black as an antistatic agent has provided uses as an additive for fuel caps and pipes for automobiles.
Additionally, the color pigment Carbon Black has been widely used in food and beverage packaging around the world for many years. It is used in multi-layer UHT milk bottles in the US, parts of Europe and Asia, and South Africa, and in items like microwavable meal trays and meat trays in New Zealand.
The highest volume use of carbon black is as a reinforcing filler in rubber products, especially tires. While a pure gum vulcanizate of styrene-butadiene has a tensile strength of no more than 2.5 MPa, and almost nonexistent abrasion resistance, compounding it with 50% of its weight of carbon black improves its tensile strength and wear resistance as shown in the below table. It is used often in the Aerospace industry in elastomers for aircraft vibration control components such as engine mounts.
Carbon black (subtypes are acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black and thermal black) is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as FCC tar, coal tar, ethylene cracking tar, and a small amount from vegetable oil. Carbon black is a form of paracrystalline carbon that has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, albeit lower than that of activated carbon. It is dissimilar to soot in its much higher surface-area-to-volume ratio and significantly lower (negligible and non-bioavailable) PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) content. However, carbon black is widely used as a model compound for diesel soot for diesel oxidation experiments. Carbon black is mainly used as a reinforcing filler in tires and other rubber products. In plastics, paints, and inks carbon black is used as a color pigment.