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The Essential Role of 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium-Based Ionic Liquids in the Development of Transparent Silica-Filled Elastomer Systems

Authors
  • Kuśmierek, Małgorzata
  • Szadkowski, Bolesław
  • Marzec, Anna
Type
Published Article
Journal
Materials
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Sep 29, 2020
Volume
13
Issue
19
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ma13194337
PMID: 33003590
PMCID: PMC7579352
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

In this paper, we present the design of reinforced silica-filled elastomer composites exhibiting a high transparency, high mechanical performance in static and dynamic conditions, and improved electrical conductivity. Two different imidazolium ionic liquids (ILs) were used with increasing loads: 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (BMIMTFSI) and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrachloroaluminate (BMIMAlCl4). The composites were prepared in a two-roll mill. The influence of the ILs on the dispersion of the silica in the nitrile rubber (NBR) matrix was assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The presence of ILs in the NBR/SiO2 systems improved the crosslink density and ionic conductivity of the composites. Their mechanical properties and aging stability remained almost unchanged, at a very satisfactory level. Greater crosslinking was observed for the NBR/SiO2 composites containing BMIMAlCl4, due to its catalytic effect on the efficiency of interface crosslinking reactions. We found the optimal formulation for obtaining transparent reinforced NBR/SiO2 composites. The application of 2.5 phr of BMIMAlCl4 resulted in a high transparency in the case of NBR composites filled with 30 phr of silica.

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