Studies on phase morphology and thermo-physical properties of nitrile rubber blends
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The study deals with the morphological and thermal analysis of binary rubber blends of acrylonitrile-co-butadiene rubber (NBR) with another polymer. Either ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), chlorosulphonated polyethylene (CSM), or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has been selected for the second phase. Depending on the relative polarity and interaction parameter of the components, the binary blends showed development of a bi-phasic morphology through scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Use of different types of thermal analysis techniques revealed that these blends are generally incompatible excepting one of NBR and PVC. Derivative differential scanning calorimetry (DDSC), in place of conventional DSC, has been used to characterize the compatibility behavior of the blends. NBR–PVC shows appearance of only one glass transition temperature (T g) averaging the individual T g’s of the blend components. The partially missible blend of NBR and CSM shows a broadening of T g interval between the phase components, while the immiscible blends of either NBR–EPDM or NBR–EVA do not show any change in T g values corresponding to the individual rubbers of their blend. The experimental T g values were also compared with those calculated theoretically by Fox equation and observed to match closely with each other. Studies have also been made to evaluate the thermal stability of these blends by thermo-gravimetric analysis (TG) and evaluation of activation energy of respective decomposition processes by Flynn and Wall method. Thermo-mechanical analysis (TMA) was found to be effective for comparison of creep recovery and dimensional stability of the blends both at sub-ambient as well as at elevated temperatures.
KeywordsNitrile rubber EPDM rubber Rubber blends Scanning electron microscopy Thermal analysis Compatibility
The authors are thankful to Dr. K.U. Bhasker Rao, Director, Defence Materials and Stores Research and Development Establishment (DMSRDE), Kanpur, for granting permission to publish this work.
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