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Optimisation of accelerators and vulcanising systems on thermal stability of natural rubber/recycled ethylene–propylene–diene-monomer blends

Materials & Design (1980-2015)
DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2013.06.078
  • Natural Rubber
  • Recycled Ethylene–Propylene–Diene-Monomer
  • Accelerators
  • Vulcanising Systems
  • Thermal Stability
  • Earth Science


Abstract The present paper concerns the thermal stability of natural rubber/recycled ethylene–propylene–diene-monomer (NR/R-EPDM) blends. The blends were prepared using various accelerators and vulcanising systems. Four types of accelerators were selected, i.e., N-tert-butyl-2-benzothiazyl-sulphonamide (TBBS), N-cyclohexyl-benzothiazyl-sulphenamide (CBS), tetramethylthiuram disulphide (TMTD) and 2-mercaptobenzothiazol (MBT). Subsequently, semi-efficient vulcanisation (semi-EV), efficient vulcanisation (EV), peroxide and mixed sulphur/peroxide vulcanising systems (semi-EV/Peroxide and EV/Peroxide) were observed in the latter study. Two methods of thermal analysis namely, thermo-oxidative ageing and thermogravimetric analysis were conducted. The results indicated that TMTD and MBT-vulcanised blends showed slightly higher thermal stability than that of CBS and TBBS vulcanised blends however, CBS-vulcanised blends exhibited satisfactory overall mechanical and thermal stability in comparison to the other accelerators used. In the case of optimisation of vulcanising systems, semi-EV showed the highest un-aged tensile strength when compared against semi-EV/Peroxide, EV, EV/Peroxide and peroxide vulcanising systems, respectively. However, EV, EV/Peroxide and peroxide vulcanising systems provided slightly higher thermal stability, due to the blends consisted of more stable monosulphidic and carbon–carbon linkages in the vulcanised network. The activation energies of degradation of the blends were determined by applying the Coats–Redfern’s method. It can be verified that the activation energies observed in the blends were in good agreement with the thermogram results.

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