Comparison of ultrasonic-treated rice husk carbon with the conventional carbon black towards improved mechanical properties of their EPDM composites


Because of depletion of fossil fuel from the earth curst and increase of environmental concerns, in search of an efficient alternative to the traditional carbon black (CB), a biochar known as rice husk carbon (RHC) has been examined here as a filler material to develop the EPDM composite. In this regard, the ball milled RHC was further treated with ultrasonic wave and used with or without its surface treatment by the silane coupling agent [i.e., 3-mercaptopropyl triethoxysilane (3-MPTMS)]. Among the RHC, ultrasonic treated RHC (UHC) and silane treated UHC (USHC), the EPDM composite of USHC showed nearly similar tensile strength to that of the CB (e.g., CB: 33.88 kgf/cm2, USHC: 31.38 kgf/cm2 at 20 wt% filler loading) with an enhanced elongation at break (e.g., CB: 206%, USHC: 342% at 20 wt% filler loading) and surprisingly much less compression set value (CB: 40.87%, USHC: 18.95% even after 40 wt% of filler loading). Compared to RHC, the UHC also showed its better performance next to the USHC. In addition to presence of both the carbon and silica in RHC and additional silica within the flexible aliphatic chain in USHC, the disintegration of RHC by ultrasonic treatment towards its narrow particle distribution, smaller particle size, and increased surface area is considered very much effective to develop the corresponding high performance EPDM composites. Thus, the use of waste material, i.e., rice husk through the ultrasonication of RHC followed by its surface treatment can be used as a potential filler material to prepare the environment friendly and cost effective high performing composites to be used in different efficient end products, and motivated further for industrial upscaling.

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This work is results of a study on the Economic Cooperation and Development Project (P0008665), supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the BK21 Plus Program (Future-oriented innovative brain raising type, 21A20151713274) funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE, Korea) and National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF)

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Correspondence to Jeong Seok Oh.

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Kim, I.T., Lee, K.H., Sinha, T.K. et al. Comparison of ultrasonic-treated rice husk carbon with the conventional carbon black towards improved mechanical properties of their EPDM composites. Carbon Lett. (2021).

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  • Rice husk carbon
  • Ultrasonication
  • Biochar
  • Surface treatment
  • Tensile property
  • Compression set