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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 496584, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/496584
Research Article

Mechanical Properties of Natural Rubber Nanocomposites Filled with Thermally Treated Attapulgite

1College of Material Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
2College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University of Engineering Science, Shanghai 201620, China

Received 20 July 2013; Accepted 19 August 2013

Academic Editor: Shanfeng Wang

Copyright © 2013 Jihu Wang and Dajun Chen. 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

Natural rubber (NR) nanocomposites were prepared in a double-roller plasticator mixer with purified attapulgite (PAT) or modified attapulgite, which was treated at 450°C (PAT-450) and 850°C (PAT-850) for two hours. The structures of the pristine, purified, and modified attapulgite were characterized by FTIR, TEM, XRD, and BET. The results indicated that the structure of attapulgite changed with the increased temperature. The effects of the PAT treatment and content on the mechanical properties of the NR nanocomposites were also investigated. The results showed that AT increased curing process of natural rubber. A significant improvement in the tensile strength, wearability, and solvent resistance of the nanocomposites was observed with the addition of different types of attapulgite as compared to those of pure NR. Scanning electron microscope images showed that the filler was located at the interface, which induced compatibilization in the immiscible blends. Thermogravimetric analysis revealed a significant improvement in the thermal stability of the NR/PAT nanocomposites.