The theoretical model developed by Charlesby to quantify the balance between cross-links creation of polymers and chain scission during radiation cross-linking and further modifications by Horikx to describe network breakdown from aging were merged to characterize the balance of both types of scission on the development of the sol content during de-vulcanization of rubber networks. There are, however, disturbing factors in these theoretical considerations vis-à-vis practical reality. Sulfur- and peroxide-cured NR and EPDM vulcanizates were de-vulcanized under conditions of selective cross-link and random main-chain scissions. Cross-link scission was obtained using thiol-amine reagents for selective cleavage of sulfur cross-links. Random main-chain scission was achieved by heating peroxide vulcanizates of NR with diphenyldisulfide, a method commonly employed for NR reclaiming. An important factor in the analyses of these experiments is the cross-linking index. Its value must be calculated using the sol fraction of the cross-linked network before de-vulcanization to obtain reliable results. The values for the cross-linking index calculated with sol-gel data before de-vulcanization appear to fit the experimentally determined modes of network scission during de-vulcanization very well. This study confirms that the treatment of de-vulcanization data with the merged Charlesby and Horikx models can be used satisfactorily to characterize the de-vulcanization of NR and EPDM vulcanizates.
Verbruggen, M. A. L., van der Does, L., Dierkes, W. K., & Noordermeer, J. W. M. (2016). Experimental Validation of the Charlesby and Horikx Models Applied to De-vulcanization of Sulfur and Peroxide Vulcanizates of NR and EPDM. Rubber chemistry and technology, 89(4), 671-688. https://doi.org/10.5254/rct.16.83776