Dynamic Response and Molecular Chain Modifications Associated with Degradation during Mixing of Silica-Reinforced Natural Rubber Compounds

Ammarin Kraibut, Sitisaiyidah Saiwari, Wisut Kaewsakul, Jacques W.M. Noordermeer, Kannika Sahakaro*, Wilma K. Dierkes* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Mixing silica-reinforced rubber for tire tread compounds involves high shear forces and temperatures to obtain a sufficient degree of silanization. Natural Rubber (NR) is sensitive to mastication and chemical reactions, and thus, silica–NR mixing encounters both mechanical and thermal degradation. The present work investigates the degradation phenomena during the mixing of silica-reinforced NR compounds in-depth. The Mooney stress relaxation rates, the dynamic properties with frequency sweep, a novel characterization of branch formation on NR using Δδ values acc. Booij and van Gurp-Palmen plots, together, indicate two major competitive reactions taking place: chain scission or degradation and preliminary cross-linking or branch formation. For masticated pure NR and gum compounds, the viscous responses increase, and the changes in all parameters indicate the dominance of chain scission with increasing dump temperature. It causes molecular weight decrease, broader molecular weight distribution, and branched structures. Different behavior is observed for silica-filled NR compounds in which both physical and chemical cross-links are promoted by silanization and coupling reactions. At high dump temperatures above 150 °C, the results indicate a significant increase in branching due to preliminary cross-linking. These molecular chain modifications that cause network heterogeneity deteriorate the mechanical properties of resulting vulcanizates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number160
JournalPolymers
Volume15
Issue number1
Early online date29 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • chain modification
  • degradation
  • dynamic response
  • natural rubber (NR)
  • silica-reinforced tire compound

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