Evaluating the efficacy of a newly developed palm-based process aid on nitrile rubber composites


The exploration of bio-based process aid is still ongoing in the effort to replace petroleum-based process oil. In this study, the efficacy of a newly developed palm-based process aid (Bio) on nitrile rubber (NBR) composites was investigated by varying its concentration from 0.0 to 10.0 phr. A comparison was made against a commercial oil (CO), i.e. naphthenic oil in terms of Mooney viscosity, cure characteristics, morphology, physical, and chemical properties. Results revealed that the use of Bio as process aid improves the processability of rubber by lowering the Mooney viscosity, enhancing filler dispersion, and lowering loss tangent values. Tensile properties and compression sets of CO-NBR composites were slightly better compared to Bio-NBR composites. Interestingly, Bio-NBR composites showed better ageing properties, especially at higher process aid content. Higher retentions of tensile strength and elongation at break and lower compression sets of aged Bio-NBR compared to CO-NBR composites were observed, which are possibly contributed by the good compatibility of Bio with aged rubber. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the thermal stability of Bio-NBR composites were slightly better than CO-NBR composites. Based on these findings, the use of Bio (≥ 7.5 phr) as process aid significantly improved the processability of rubber with some enhancement in ageing properties of composites that is desirable and ideal for various applications such as for the production of automotive components.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  1. 1.

    Altenhofen Da Silva M, Adeodato Vieira MG, Gomes Maumoto AC, Beppu MM (2011) Polyvinylchloride (PVC) and natural rubber films plasticized with a natural polymeric plasticizer obtained through polyesterification of rice fatty acid. Polym Test 30:478–484

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Dasgupta S, Agrawal SL, Bandyopadhyay S, Chakraborty S, Mukhopadhyay R, Malkani RK, Ameta SC (2007) Characterisation of eco-friendly processing aids for rubber compound: Part II. Polym Test 27:277–283

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Chandrasekara G, Mahanama MK, Edirisinghe DG, Karunanayake L (2011) Epoxidized vegetable oils as processing aids and activators in carbon-black filled natural rubber compounds. J Natl Sci Found Sri Lanka 39:243–250

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Aigbodion AI, Menon ARR, Pillai CKS (2000) Processability characteristics and physico-mechanical properties of natural rubber modified with rubber seed oil and epoxidized rubber seed oil. J Appl Polym Sci 77:1413–1418

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Wang Z, Peng Y, Zhang L, Zhao Y, Vyzhimov R, Tan T, Fong H (2016) Investigation of palm oil as green plasticizer on the processing and mechanical properties of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber. Ind Eng Chem Res 55:2784–2789

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Wang Z, Han Y, Zhang X, Huang Z, Zhang L (2013) Plasticization effect of transgenic soybean oil on ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) as substitute for paraffin oil. J Appl Polym Sci 130:4457–4463

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Wang Z, Han Y, Huang Z, Zhang X, Zhang L, Lu Y, Tan T (2014) Plasticization effect of hydrogenated transgenic soybean oil on nitrile-butadiene rubber. J Appl Polym Sci 131:40643

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Petrović ZS, Milić J, Ionescu M, Halladay JR (2017) Epdm rubber plasticized with polymeric soybean oil of different molecular weights. Rubber Chem Technol 90:667–682

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Li J, Isayev AI, Ren X, Soucek MD (2016) Toward replacement of petroleum oils by modified soybean oils in elastomers. Rubber Chem Technol 89:608–630

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Raju P, Nandanan V, Sunil KNK (2007) A study on the use of castor oil as plasticizer in natural rubber compounds. Prog Rubber Plast Re 23:169–180

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Bocqué M, Voirin C, Lapinte V, Caillol S, Robin JJ (2016) Petro-based and bio-based plasticizers: chemical structures to plasticizing properties. J Polym Sci Part A Polym Chem 54:11–33

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Siwarote B, Sae-oui P, Wirasate S, Suchiva K (2017) Effects of bio-based oils on processing properties and cure characteristics of silica-filled natural rubber compounds. J Rubber Res 20:1–19

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Jayewardhana WGD, Perera GM, Edirisinghe DG, Karunanayake L (2009) Study on natural oils as alternative processing aids and activators in carbon black filled natural rubber. J Natl Sci Found Sri Lanka 37:187–193

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Yong KC (2014) Poly(butadiene-co-acrylonitrile)-polyaniline dodecylbenzenesulfonate [NBR-PAni. DBSA] blends for corrosion inhibition of carbon steel. J Rubber Res 17:205–218

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Pazur RJ, Kennedy TAC (2015) Effect of plasticizer extraction by jet fuel on a nitrile hose compound. Rubber Chem Technol 88:324–342

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Liu XR, Zhang WF, Lou WT, Huang YX, Dai W (2017) Investigation on thermal oxidative aging of nitrile rubber (NBR) O-rings under compression stress. IOP Conf Ser Mater Sci Eng 265:012003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Lee SY, Koh RY, Liew YK, Som FM, Md Yatim AH, Mok KL (2018) Novel palm oil based polymeric surfactant in natural rubber latex films. In: 9th Internal rubber glove conference and exhibition, Malaysia, 4–6 September

  18. 18.

    Mohd Hanif H, Yong KC, Lee SY (2020) Effects of a newly developed palm-based processing aid and curing systems on the physical properties of nitrile rubber composites. Sains Malaysiana 49:2187–2196

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Ahmed K (2012) Cure Characteristics, mechanical and swelling properties of marble sludge filled EPDM modified chloroprene rubber blends. Adv Mater Phys Chem 2:90–97

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Liu J, Li X, Xu L, Zhang P (2016) Investigation of aging behavior and mechanism of nitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) in the accelerated thermal aging environment. Polym Test 54:59–66

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Pakhathirathien C, Pearuang K, Rungvichaniwat A, Kaesaman A, Nakason C (2016) A comparative study of stearyl aromatic esters and aromatic oil as processing aids in natural rubber compounds. Songklanakarin J Sci Technol 38:501–506

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Milani G, Milani F (2017) Closed form numerical approach for a kinetic interpretation of high-cis polybutadiene rubber vulcanization with sulphur. J Math Chem 55:552–583

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Surya I, Ismail H, Azura AR (2013) Alkanolamide as an accelerator, filler-dispersant and a plasticizer in silica-filled natural rubber compounds. Polym Test 32:1313–1321

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Oh J, Yoo YH, Yoo IS, Il Huh Y, Chaki TK, Nah C (2014) Effect of plasticizer and curing system on freezing resistance of rubbers. J Appl Polym Sci 131:1–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Kundu PP (2000) Improvement of filler-rubber interaction by the coupling action of vegetable oil in carbon black reinforced rubber. J Appl Polym Sci 75:735–739

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Varghese M (2001) Studies on new processing aids and other compounding ingredients in special purpose rubbers. Cochin University of Science and Technology, Thesis

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Ismail H, Salmiah I, Tsukahara Y (1997) Palm oil fatty acid as an activator in carbon black filled natural rubber compounds: Effect of vulcanization system. Polym Int 44:523–529

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Nair TM, Kumaran MG, Unnikrishnan G, Pillai VB (2009) Dynamic mechanical analysis of EPDM and SBR blends. J Appl Polym Sci 112:72–81

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Zanchet A, Garcia PS, Nunes RCR, Crespo JS, Scuracchio CH (2016) Sustainable natural rubber compounds: naphthenic oil exchange for another alternative from renewable source. Int Ref J Eng Sci 5:10–19

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Foo YT (2013) A study of the thermal ageing of carboxylated nitrile rubber latex thin film. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Thesis

Download references


The authors acknowledge the financial support given by the Malaysian Rubber Board for this project. Assistance given by UITE staffs is also highly appreciated.


Funding was provided by the Malaysian Rubber Board.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hani Mohd Hanif.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mohd Hanif, H., Yong, K.C. & Lee, S.Y. Evaluating the efficacy of a newly developed palm-based process aid on nitrile rubber composites. J Rubber Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42464-020-00072-6

Download citation


  • Bio-based
  • Ageing properties
  • Process aid
  • Physical properties
  • Synthetic rubber