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ISRN Polymer Science
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 272751, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/272751
Research Article

Swelling of Elastomers in Solutions of Nanoparticles

1Mechanical Engineering Department, École de Technologie Supérieure, 1125 Williams, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 1P7
2CTT Groupe, 3000 rue Boullé, Saint-Hyacinthe QC, Canada J2S 1H9
3Chemistry Department, Université de Montréal, CP 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal QC, Canada H3C 3J7

Received 2 October 2012; Accepted 24 October 2012

Academic Editors: H.-L. Chen and H. M. da Costa

Copyright © 2012 Ludwig Vinches et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Elastomers used in protective gloves can be sensitive to the action of solvents used to disperse commercial solutions of nanoparticles. These effects may include the swelling of the polymer, leading to a modification of its mechanical and chemical properties. Modifications to the properties of the polymer will impact the protection provided by the protective gloves. The goal of this work was therefore to study the swelling of several elastomers when exposed to commercial solutions of nanoparticles. The study involved four elastomers and three commercial solutions of colloidal titanium dioxide (). Swelling was assessed by measurements of mass gain and length change. Tests were also performed with technical and ultrapure solvents corresponding to the liquid carriers. The solutions had a significant effect on the swelling of nitrile rubber, latex, and neoprene. A large mass gain was recorded for short immersion times, indicating a possible penetration of the nanoparticle liquid carrier into these elastomers. Length change measurements revealed a swelling anisotropy effect with nitrile rubber and latex in the solutions of colloidal . No effect was measured with butyl rubber. The results show that great care must be taken when selecting protective gloves for the handling of nanoparticle dispersions.