Enabling reprocessability of ENR-based vulcanisates by thermochemically exchangeable ester crosslinks

Bashir Algaily, Wisut Kaewsakul*, Siti Salina Sarkawi, Ekwipoo Kalkornsurapranee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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A reprocessable elastomeric vulcanisate based on Epoxidised Natural Rubber with 50 mol-% epoxide content (ENR-50) was evloved by applying a self-assembled network based on thermochemically exchangeable ester crosslinks to the system. Hydrolysed Maleic Anhydride (HMA) as crosslinking substance in the presence of 1,2-DiMethylImidazole (DMI) as esterification accelerator and Zinc Acetate Dihydrate (ZAD) as transesterification catalyst was employed to generate the exchangeable ester crosslinking system. A sulphur-cured ENR-50 vulcanisate possessing a permanent sulphide crosslinking network was prepared as reference. Based on the results from cure characteristic and chemical structure analyses, the ENR-50 crosslinked with HMA behaves as a dynamic network because of a transesterification reaction catalysed by ZAD, promoting an exchangeable crosslinking network in the system. This dynamic network contributes to an intermolecular rearrangement of the ester crosslinking bonds at elevated temperatures, enabling interfacial self-adhesion and so reprocessability of the vulcanisates. The obtainable vulcanisates can be reprocessed, yielding relatively high retention of mechanical properties compared to their pristine counterpart. The interfacial self-adhesion and reprocessability of the vulcanisates have shown to significantly be improved with a higher loading of ZAD and elevated temperatures. This concept essentially shows a prospect towards developing e.g. novel recyclable and self-healing systems for elastomers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-328
Number of pages14
JournalPlastics, Rubber and Composites
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • molecular engineering
  • polymer network
  • polymer recycle
  • self-healing
  • Vulcanisation
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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