Synthesis and Characterization of Styrene-Butadiene Rubber-Clay Nanocomposites With Enhanced Mechanical and Gas Barrier Properties

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


Five styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR)/clay nanocomposite or hybrid systems were synthesized via mechanical mixing of SBR using a Brabender mixer and a 2-roll mill in the presence of unmodified sodium montmorillonite (Na-MMT) clay, MMT modified with octadecylamine (C18amine), MMT modified with a zwitterionic surfactant, octadecyldimethyl betaine (C18DMB), and MMT modified with a polymerizable cationic surfactant, vinylbenzyl octadecyldimethyl ammonium chloride (VODAC) or vinylbenzyl dodecyldimethyl ammonium chloride (VDAC). The surfactant chain length and functional groups affected the dispersion of clay nanolayers in the matrix and the overall properties of the nanocomposites. X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed peaks corresponding to intercalated structures; transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations agreed well with XRD assessment of the composites. SBR/VODAC-MMT system exhibited the best dispersion among the nanocomposites studied. VODAC-MMT was partially exfoliated in SBR matrix and the average aspect ratio of the nanolayer stacks or aggregates was high (20). Depending on the amount of clay, considerable mechanical reinforcement and gas barrier enhancement were achieved in nanocomposites over pure rubber. Tensile strength in excess of 18MPa was observed in SBR nanocomposites with 30 phr C18 organoclays. The storage modulus at 25C increased by a factor of four by incorporating 10 phr VODAC-MMT in SBR. The most pronounced oxygen barrier enhancement was again observed in SBR/VODAC-MMT nanocomposite with the reduction of permeability by 60% at silicate volume fraction of 0.06. The superior performance of nanocomposites containing VODAC-MMT is attributed to the presence of the vinyl-benzyl group and 18 carbon-atom tail in the surfactant leading to high compatibility with SBR and nano-scale dispersion in the SBR matrix.

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Rubber Chemistry and Technology





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