Effect of montmorillonite modification on mechanical properties of vulcanized natural rubber composites
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Natural rubber-clay composites were prepared by direct polymer melt intercalation. Ca-montmorillonite Jelšový Potok (JP; Slovakia) and Na-montmorillonite Kunipia-F (KU; Japan) were ion exchanged with octadecyltrimethylammonium (ODTMA) bromide and were used as aluminosilicate fillers. Silica Ultrasil VN3 was used in amount of 15 phr as conventional filler. The effect of clay or organoclay loading from 1 up to 10 phr on the mechanical properties was evaluated from the tensile tests (stress at break, strain at break and modulus M100). Organic modification resulted in an increase of toluene uptake degree for both fillers. While an addition of unmodified KU had no effect on tensile strength and deformation at break, a reinforcing effect was observed for the mixture containing 10 phr of unmodified JP. Both ODTMA modified fillers (KU and JP) exhibited substantial increase in tensile strength and deformation at break; JP proved to be more effective compared to KU also if modified with ODTMA. The highest stress at break and strain at break values for natural rubber composites were obtained with 15 phr of SiO2 and 10 phr of montmorillonite; however, the effect of exchangeable cation was minor.
KeywordsNatural Rubber Vulcanization EPDM Interlayer Distance Modify Filler
The authors are grateful to the Slovak Research and Development Agency (grant No APVV-51-050505) for supporting this research.