In this work, the effect of mixing temperature (Tmix
) on the mechanical, rheological, and morphological properties of rubber/cyclic butylene terephthalate (CBT) oligomer compounds was studied. Apolar (styrene butadiene rubber, SBR) and polar (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber, NBR) rubbers were modified by CBT (20 phr) for reinforcement and viscosity reduction. The mechanical properties were determined in tensile, tear, and dynamical mechanical analysis (DMTA) tests. The CBT-caused viscosity changes were assessed by parallel-plate rheometry. The morphology was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). CBT became better dispersed in the rubber matrices with elevated mixing temperatures (at which CBT was in partially molten state), which resulted in improved tensile properties. With increasing mixing temperature the size of the CBT particles in the compounds decreased significantly, from few hundred microns to 5–10 microns. Compounding at temperatures above 120 °C and 140 °C for NBR and SBR, respectively, yielded reduced tensile mechanical properties most likely due to the degradation of the base rubber. The viscosity reduction by CBT was more pronounced in mixes with coarser CBT dispersions prepared at lower mixing temperatures.
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