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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 684047, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/684047
Research Article

New Green Polymeric Composites Based on Hemp and Natural Rubber Processed by Electron Beam Irradiation

1National Research and Development Institute for Textile and Leather-Leather and Footwear Research Institute, 93 Ion Minulescu Street, 031215 Bucharest, Romania
2National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Accelerators Laboratory, 409 Atomistilor Street, 077125 Magurele, Romania

Received 29 August 2013; Accepted 31 October 2013; Published 28 January 2014

Academic Editors: P. Dallas and K. Jayakumar

Copyright © 2014 Maria-Daniela Stelescu 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

A new polymeric composite based on natural rubber reinforced with hemp has been processed by electron beam irradiation and characterized by several methods. The mechanical characteristics: gel fraction, crosslink density, water uptake, swelling parameters, and FTIR of natural rubber/hemp fiber composites have been investigated as a function of the hemp content and absorbed dose. Physical and mechanical properties present a significant improvement as a result of adding hemp fibres in blends. Our experiments showed that the hemp fibers have a reinforcing effect on natural rubber similar to mineral fillers (chalk, carbon black, silica). The crosslinking rates of samples, measured using the Flory-Rehner equation, increase as a result of the amount of hemp in blends and the electron beam irradiation dose increasing. The swelling parameters of samples significantly depend on the amount of hemp in blends, because the latter have hydrophilic characteristics.