Properties of ethylene propylene diene monomer blended with recycled acrylonitrile butadiene rubber filled bamboo particulate (EPDM/rNBR)
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Rubber blending has been selected as one of the techniques and opportunity to overcome the environmental issues regarding rubber waste product. The ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber blended with recycled acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (rNBR) by means of blending together can produce new polymeric material. The properties of rNBR and bamboo fillers used as fillers were characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared Radiation (FTIR), Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) on the tensile fracture surfaces. Series 1 studied the blending of EPDM blended with recycled NBR at different sizes and loadings of rNBR. Results indicated that EPDM/rNBR blends at 15 phr rNBR with smallest size (S1: 250 – 500 μm) having lower scorch time, t2 and higher maximum torque, MH compared to large size (S2: 5 – 10 cm). The tensile properties of EPDM/rNBR (S1) showed a synergism effect up to 15 phr rNBR where it has higher value of tensile strength and crosslink density. Series 2 investigated the effects of bamboo filled EPDM/rNBR. Three different sizes of bamboo fillers has been used and the addition of smallest size bamboo fillers filled EPDM/rNBR blends (S1: ≤ 125 μm) at 35 phr bamboo fillers content showed better properties in terms of curing properties, tensile strength and physical properties in comparison with EPDM/rNBR blends filled large size bamboo fillers (S2: 125 – 250 μm and S3: 250 -500 μm). Bamboo fillers with smallest size act as better reinforcing filler in EPDM/rNBR blends. Series 3 studied the addition of compatibilizer, trans-polyoctylene rubber (TOR) into EPDM/rNBR blend. Compatibilizer TOR improved the interfacial interaction between rNBR and EPDM matrix, thus improving the compatibility of the blends. TOR has become a part of the network. However, the excessive increment of TOR loading restricts the molecular mobility which limited the orientation of the network chain. The overall curing properties, tensile and physical properties showed an enhancement at 2 phr TOR loading rather than other blend ratios.
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