Alleviating molecular-scale damages in silica-reinforced natural rubber compounds by a self-healing modifier

Bashir Algaily, Wisut Kaewsakul*, Siti Salina Sarkawi, Ekwipoo Kalkornsurapranee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

The property retentions of silica-reinforced natural rubber vulcanizates with various contents of a self-healing modifier called EMZ, which is based on epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) modified with hydrolyzed maleic anhydride (HMA) as an ester crosslinking agent plus zinc acetate dihydrate (ZAD) as a transesterification catalyst, were investigated. To validate its self-healing efficiency, the molecular-scale damages were introduced to vulcanizates using a tensile stress–strain cyclic test following the Mullins effect concept. The processing characteristics, reinforcing indicators, and physicomechanical and viscoelastic properties of the compounds were evaluated to identify the influences of plausible interactions in the system. Overall results demonstrate that the property re-tentions are significantly enhanced with increasing EMZ content at elevated treatment temperatures, because the EMZ modifier potentially contributes to reversible linkages leading to the intermolecular reparation of rubber network. Furthermore, a thermally annealing treatment of the damaged vul-canizates at a high temperature, e.g., 120 C, substantially enhances the property recovery degree, most likely due to an impact of the transesterification reaction of the ester crosslinks adjacent to the molecular damages. This reaction can enable bond interchanges of the ester crosslinks, resulting in the feasibly exchanged positions of the ester crosslinks between the broken rubber molecules and, thus, achievable self-reparation of the damages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
Number of pages22
JournalPolymers
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Composite
  • Filler
  • Intermolecular reparation
  • Polymer failure
  • Rubber crosslink

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