Table of Contents
Journal of Polymers
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 279529, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/279529
Research Article

Effects of Polarity on the Filler-Rubber Interaction and Properties of Silica Filled Grafted Natural Rubber Composites

1Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, Rangsit University, Pathum Thani 12000, Thailand
2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Received 15 June 2013; Revised 8 September 2013; Accepted 8 September 2013

Academic Editor: Jean-Marc Saiter

Copyright © 2013 Wanvimon Arayapranee and Garry L. Rempel. 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

The grafting of an olefinic monomer like acrylonitrile (AN), methyl methacrylate (MMA), and styrene (ST) onto natural rubber (NR) was carried out to enhance the polarity of the new chemical groups on the NR backbone and, in turn, to improve the filler-rubber interaction. The grafted natural rubber (GNR) produced was compounded and then vulcanization was carried out in the presence of silica as a reinforcing filler. The physical properties and aging resistance provided by the presence of the polar functional groups of the GNR composites were investigated and compared with other rubbers such as SBR, NBR, and NR. The GNRs provided significant improvements in resistance of the composites to thermal, oil, and ozone while maintaining the mechanical properties of the rubber. Therefore, these properties can be controlled as a function of the polarity of functional groups on the NR backbone. Morphological studies confirmed a shift from ductility failure to brittle with the presence of the polar group on the rubber chains.