Experimental Validation of the Horikx Theory to be Used in the Rubber Devulcanization Analysis
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The waste rubber and end-of-life tires management has become a serious environmental problem. It is well known that the best way to carry out the disposal of these wastes is through recycling by devulcanization. Therefore, in the last decades, many methods have been developed to perform this treatment. Nevertheless, the degree and quality of the achieved devulcanization is still difficult to evaluate. The Horikx theory is an approach often used for this purpose. Hence, in this work, the validity of this theory was experimentally checked. The theoretical curve that represents crosslink scission was experimentally built for sulfur-cured natural rubber, sulfur-cured natural rubber reinforced with carbon black, sulfur-cured ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber and peroxide-cured ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber. Several samples with vulcanization (or devulcanization) degree ranging from 0 to 100% were processed, and the corresponding soluble fractions and crosslink densities were measured by the swelling test. The experimental results were in good agreement with the theoretical predictions, independently of the studied material, fact that confirms the validity of the Horikx approach. This finding will contribute to improve the waste rubber devulcanization, and therefore to progress in the environmental protection.
KeywordsRubber Recycling Devulcanization Horikx theory Waste management
Funding was provided by Conseil Régional du Centre-Val de Loire (Grant No. 2014-00091856).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have not conflict of interest.
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