Fracture properties of natural rubber filled with hybrid carbon black/nanoclay
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Hybrid carbon black (CB) and nanoclay (NC) in a rubber matrix have provided superior mechanical performances over conventional composites. Yet the fracture and fatigue properties have not been fully explored. In this paper, the mechanical properties of the hybrid-filled natural rubber (NR) were investigated with regard to the tensile strength, fatigue crack growth (FCG) and cut resistance. The ruptured crack tip and the torn surface were studied by using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. It was found that the fatigue resistance at large tearing energy and cut strength were enhanced with hybrid filler. Subsidiary cracks were observed at the ruptured tip in rubber with NC. Morphology analysis revealed that the hybrid filler led to a rougher torn surface than rubber with non-hybrid filler. It was proposed that the clay layers constructed a dual phase filler network with CB aggregates. The filler network could cause strength anisotropy in the matrix and introduce more energy dissipation mechanisms to the system, resulting in enhanced fatigue resistance.
KeywordsHybrid filler Fatigue crack growth Crack resistance Natural rubber Nanoclay
The financial support from the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2007CB714700) is greatly appreciated. The authors acknowledge the support of the Maryland NanoCenter and its NispLab. The NispLab is supported in part by the NSF as a MRSEC Shared Experimental Facility.
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