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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2015, Article ID 517260, 6 pages
Research Article

Use of Rubber Process Analyzer for Characterizing the Molecular Weight Parameters of Natural Rubber

1Key Laboratory of Tropical Crop Product Processing of Agricultural Ministry, Agricultural Product Processing Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agriculture Sciences, Zhanjiang 524001, China
2Rubber Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agriculture Sciences, Danzhou 571737, China

Received 28 May 2015; Revised 12 August 2015; Accepted 13 August 2015

Academic Editor: Jan-Chan Huang

Copyright © 2015 Tianming Gao 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.


The aim of this work is to introduce a simple and rapid method for characterizing the molecular weight parameters and other molecular structure parameters of natural rubber (NR) using a rubber process analyzer (RPA). In this work, NR of different molecular weights was prepared by milling. Molecular weight parameters were measured by gel permeation chromatography coupled with laser light scattering (GPC-LLS) for comparison with RPA results. It was verified that increasing of milling time leads to a decrease of the number-average molecular weight (), weight-average molecular weight (), and molecular weight distribution (MWD). The dynamic and rheological properties were evaluated on RPA by tests of strain sweep, frequency sweep, and stress relaxation. These results were used to characterize the average molecular weight, MWD, and viscosity of NR and were found to agree with those from GPC-LLS. This convenient and rapid technology for characterizing NR molecular weight parameters would be especially useful in the elastomer industry.