Design and manufacturing of new elastomeric composites: Mechanical properties, chemical and physical analysis

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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Filler-reinforced vulcanized rubber and its blends have been used for engineering applications for over a century. Traditional applications include tires, seals, bushings, and engine mounts. The rubbers for tire manufacturing must have high elasticity, good frictional properties and high load bearing capacity. Conforming to these needs, rubbers are vulcanized by various materials such as sulphur, carbon black, accelerators, and retardants under different conditions. The reactivity of sulphur vulcanization and physical properties of the final product are affected by the chemical structure, molecular weight, and conformation of the base elastomers. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of accelerator-vulcanizing agent system and the vulcanization temperature on the mechanical and aging properties of vulcanizates based on natural rubber/Polybutadiene rubber (NR/BR) composites. Two ratios of accelerator to sulphur were used for the preparation of the composites also known as conventional vulcanization system (CV), where the quantity of sulphur is more and efficient vulcanization system (EV), where the quantity of accelerator is more. This preliminary study will allow optimization of the composition/processing conditions to improve the mechanical properties and resistance to damage. NR/BR based composites at different vulcanization temperatures and using different curing systems were manufactured. Tensile strength, elongation at break, tensile modulus at 100% (M100) and at 300% (M300) deformation hardness (Shore A) of the composites were determined. Scanning electron microscopy was used to study the microstructure of the fracture surfaces. The main findings are that CV gives more reliable results for multi-purpose applications. Effective vulcanization system is suitable for application in areas where good aging resistance is needed and also in applications where low deformations are expected. Vulcanization temperature does not play significant role although most of the results are in favor of the lower temperature (140 °C).

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Composites Part B: Engineering