Mechanisms involved in the recycling of NR and EPDM

M.A.L. Verbruggen, L. van der Does, J.W.M. Noordermeer, M. van Duin, H.J. Manuel

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93 Citations (Scopus)


The thermochemical recycling of natural rubber (NR) and ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM) vulcanizates with disulfides was studied. NR sulfur vulcanizates were completely plasticized when heated with diphenyldisulfide at 200 °C. It could be concluded that both main chain scission and crosslink scission caused the network breakdown. NR peroxide vulcanizates were less reactive towards disulfide at 200 °C, and only reacted through main chain scission. For EPDM a temperature range of 200–275 °C was studied. In the presence of diphenyldisulfide at 200 °C there was almost no devulcanization of EPDM sulfur vulcanizates, and at 225 and 250 °C there was only slightly more devulcanization. A decrease in crosslink density of 90% was found when 2×10−4 mol diphenyldisulfide/cm3 vulcanizate was added and the EPDM sulfur vulcanizates were heated to 275 °C. EPDM peroxide vulcanizates showed a decrease in crosslink density of ca. 40% under the same conditions. The lower reactivity of EPDM towards disulfide compared with NR is the result of higher crosslink densities, the presence of a higher percentage of more stable monosulfidic crosslinks and the fact that EPDM is less apt to main chain scission relative to NR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-740
JournalRubber chemistry and technology
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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