Preparation and characterization of epoxidized natural rubber and epoxidized natural rubber/carboxylated styrene butadiene rubber blends
In this study, epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) with 30 mol % epoxidation (ENR-30) was first prepared from natural rubber (NR) latex via ‘in situ’ performic epoxidation using 0.5 M hydrogen peroxide and 0.75 M formic acid at 50°C for 4 h. The prepared ENR-30 was blended with three different loadings of carboxylated styrene butadiene rubber (XSBR) (10, 20 and 30 wt%) in the latex stage. All ENR-30/XSBR blends had longer scorch time and cure time than neat ENR-30 as examined on a moving die rheometer. The tensile properties (tensile strength, modulus at 300% strain and elongation at break), thermal stability and oil resistance of the ENR-30/XSBR blends were investigated. The incorporation of XSBR into ENR-30 caused an increase in the modulus at 300% strain but deteriorated the tensile strength and elongation at break. However, the elongation at break of the blends was still high (540–630%) as compared to that of the neat ENR-30 (690%). The results from the thermal gravimetric analysis revealed an increased initial degradation temperature but a decreased thermal stability at high temperatures. The oil resistance of ENR-30 and ENR-30/XSBR blends in terms of the percentage volume change after immersion in the ASTM Oil No. 1 and IRM 903 oil was better than that of the NR.
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