Evaluation of electron induced crosslinking of masticated natural rubber at different temperatures


In this work, natural rubber (NR) was masticated using an internal mixer to fit the requirements of reactive blending with polylactide and characterized by size exclusion chromatography (SEC), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and dynamic rheology measurements. Subsequently, the effect of elevated temperatures (25 °C, 80 °C, and 170 °C) on the electron beam (EB) induced crosslinking and degradation of masticated natural rubber (mNR) in a nitrogen atmosphere without adding crosslinking agents has been investigated. The sol gel investigation showed that the gel dose of mNR slightly increased with increasing irradiation temperature, which is also confirmed by the swelling test. The chain scission to crosslinking ratio (Gs/Gx) was found to be less than 1 for irradiated mNR at 25 °C and 80 °C, suggesting a dominating crosslinking behavior of mNR. However, a significant increase of Gs/Gx ratio (~1.12) was observed for mNR irradiated at 170 °C due to the enhanced thermal degradation behavior at high temperature. A remarkably improved elasticity (higher complex viscosity, higher storage modulus, and longer relaxation time) for EB modified mNR was demonstrated by dynamic rheological analysis. Particularly, the samples modified at higher temperatures represented more pronounced elasticity behavior which resulted from the higher number of branches and/or the longer branched chains.

Additive-free, Crosslink density, Irradiation, Masticated NR, Rheology
Huang, Y., Gohs, U., Müller, M. T., Zschech, C., & Wießner, S. (2019). Evaluation of electron induced crosslinking of masticated natural rubber at different temperatures. 11(8). https://doi.org//10.3390/polym11081279
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