Special Issue "Sustainable Rubber Composites"

A special issue of Journal of Composites Science (ISSN 2504-477X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Marianella Hernández Santana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Polymer Science and Technology (ICTP-CSIC), Polymer Composite Group, Madrid, Spain
Tel. +34 912587424
Interests: natural rubber; rubber composites; self-healing rubbers; ground tire rubber; dielectric properties
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rubber industry is faced with some challenges in order to meet the criteria of sustainable development. Among the different strategies seeking possible economically-attractive and eco-friendly materials, the use of natural fibers as potential fillers in rubber composites appear to be a reasonable option. Recycling and reclaiming technologies, to get rid of end-of-life tires, also sounds like a valid possibility. Self-healing rubbers are another alternative to the damage-and-discard cycle. Lifetime extension by healing events would also reduce the overall costs in material use and maintenance. Different concepts to implement healing have been proposed, but several are unlikely to ever reach a level interesting enough for industry. It is crucial to know what the limitations and possibilities are for the different concepts. Currently, most research in this field is confined to the laboratory scale. However, we should make a jump into the industrial sector. Upgraded reused and/or self-repaired composite materials will have the possibility of incorporation in applications where there is a strong need for low cost and noise and vibration damping properties for the improvement of transport quality (aircrafts, cars, and railway vehicles), among others.

The aim of this Special Issue is to offer researchers a wide spectrum of investigations focused on rubber composites that harmonize with sustainability and circular economy principles. Authors are encouraged to present material model concepts for developing new applications, economically and environmentally convenient, with good mechanical properties and with self-repair abilities. Modifications of the chemical structure of rubber so as to enhance physical or chemical reversible interactions are encouraged as well. Research on new processes and improvements in existing recycling or reclaiming processes are also welcomed in this Special Issue. All attempts to find economical ways to use rubber waste in rubber composites will be considered. The inclusion of fillers playing the dual role of reinforcing and carrier of the healing agent would also be of interest for this Special Issue.

 I hope that the outcome of this new set of studies will serve as a framework for a straightforward strategy for both recycling and improving/extending the life cycle of elastomeric goods.

Dr. Marianella Hernández Santana
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Rubber recycling
  • Ground tire rubber
  • Rubber composites
  • Natural fibers
  • Rubber-filler interactions
  • Self-healing rubbers
  • Devulcanization
  • Reclaimed rubber
  • Dynamic bonds
  • End-of-life-tires
  • Circular economy
  • Sustainability
  • Reverse engineering

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of Nanostructured Kaolinite Doped Composite Films from Silicone Rubber with Enhanced Properties
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020050 - 12 May 2019
Abstract
Naturally occurring nanomaterials are finding growing interests in tailoring properties of engineering polymers for advanced applications. The objective of this study was to develop environment-friendly nanocomposite films by reinforcing kaolinite nanofillers (1–10 wt%) in silicone rubber (SR) matrix using a simple solvent casting [...] Read more.
Naturally occurring nanomaterials are finding growing interests in tailoring properties of engineering polymers for advanced applications. The objective of this study was to develop environment-friendly nanocomposite films by reinforcing kaolinite nanofillers (1–10 wt%) in silicone rubber (SR) matrix using a simple solvent casting technique. Kaolinite-reinforced films showed substantial improvement in mechanical (tensile strength, Young’s modulus, and elongation at break) and thermal properties at very low filler loading (5 wt%). The improvement of solvent resistance nature of the fabricated films was another critical aspect of this study. Unfilled SR film showed ~19% weight loss when immersed in toluene for 4 h at 25 °C, whereas only ~4% weight loss was recorded in the case of 5% (w/w) kaolinite loaded film. Therefore, kaolinite has the potential to bring significant improvement in the properties of SR. This study indicates that there is plenty of room at the bottom for proper utilization of the potential of kaolinite for developing SR-based composite materials for potential applications in many industries, such as textile, household cleaning, construction, electronics, automotive, medical, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Defining Key Factors in Carbon Black-Filled NR/BR Compounds for Balancing Aircraft Tire Tread Properties
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020047 - 05 May 2019
Abstract
Carbon black (CB) is the most common reinforcing filler used in aircraft tire tread formulations. For CB-reinforced natural rubber/butadiene rubber (NR/BR) compounds, material and processing parameters are important factors that need to be controlled, as they can influence both, processing as well as [...] Read more.
Carbon black (CB) is the most common reinforcing filler used in aircraft tire tread formulations. For CB-reinforced natural rubber/butadiene rubber (NR/BR) compounds, material and processing parameters are important factors that need to be controlled, as they can influence both, processing as well as the vulcanizate properties. It is essential to investigate and optimize the key elements, in order to achieve the target properties, while maintaining an acceptable trade-off for other characteristics. In the present study, the type of BR, mixer temperature, rotor speed, and filler mixing time were selected as input factors. A complete design of experiments (DOE) process was performed that comprised the following—two-level full factorial setup for initial screening, response surface method (RSM) for optimization, and confirmation runs for validation. This evaluation procedure was used to study the impact of factors and their interactions on the properties of CB-filled NR/BR compounds. From the DOE optimization which was later confirmed by the DOE validation, high rotor speed and long filler mixing time were the most significant factors in improving the Mooney viscosity, modulus at 300% elongation, hysteresis (tan delta), as well as in reducing the filler–filler interaction (Payne effect). In the case of tensile strength (TS) and abrasion resistance index (ARI), high rotor speed and long filler mixing time had an adverse effect, thus, causing a deterioration of these properties. Therefore, it is recommended to decrease the filler mixing time when combining it with high rotor speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Mixing Procedures, Rubber Treatment, and Fibre Additives on Rubcrete Performance
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020041 - 10 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This research extensively investigates how to enhance the mechanical performance of Rubcrete, aiming to move this type of concrete from the laboratory research level to a more practical use by the concrete industry. The effects of many different mixing procedures, chemical pre-treatments on [...] Read more.
This research extensively investigates how to enhance the mechanical performance of Rubcrete, aiming to move this type of concrete from the laboratory research level to a more practical use by the concrete industry. The effects of many different mixing procedures, chemical pre-treatments on the rubber particles, and the use of fibre additives, have been investigated for their impact upon Rubcrete workability, compressive strength, tensile strength, and flexural strength. The mixing procedure variables included mixing time and mixing order. The rubber pre-treatments utilized chemicals such as Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), Sulphuric acid (H2SO4), Calcium Chloride (CaCl2), Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4), Sodium Bisulphite (NaHsO3), and Silane Coupling Agent. Soaking rubber particles in tap water, or running them through water before mixing, were also tried as a pre-treatment of rubber particles. In addition, the effects of fibre additives such as steel fibres, polypropylene fibres, and rubber fibres, were assessed. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis was utilised to examine some of the pre-treated rubber particles. The results showed that doubling the net mixing time of all mix constituents together enhanced the Rubcrete slump by an average of 22%, and the compressive strength by up to 8%. Mixing rubber with dry cement before adding to the mix increased the compressive strength by up to 3%. Pre-treatment using water was more effective than other chemicals in enhancing the Rubcrete workability. Regardless of the treatment material type, the longer the time of the treatment, the more cleaning of rubber occurred. Significant Rubcrete flexural strength increase occurred when using 1.5% fibre content of both steel fibre and polypropylene fibre. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Surfactant from Nanocomposites Films Based on Thermally Reduced Graphene Oxide and Natural Rubber
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020031 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Electrically conducting elastomer composites based on natural rubber and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is reported. These composites were prepared by a latex method and an easy washing process. The latex method consists of the mixing of an aqueous suspension of rGO, stabilized by [...] Read more.
Electrically conducting elastomer composites based on natural rubber and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is reported. These composites were prepared by a latex method and an easy washing process. The latex method consists of the mixing of an aqueous suspension of rGO, stabilized by sodium dodecyl sulfate and pre-vulcanized natural rubber, followed by solvent casting. The percolation threshold of composites was estimated at 1.54 wt.% of rGO. The washing process allowed elimination of the surfactant completely from nanocomposites. The absence of surfactant in nanocomposites was demonstrated by Raman spectroscopy and dynamo-mechanical analysis. The surfactant-free nanocomposites showed improved mechanical and electrical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Cyclic Performance of Steel–Concrete–Steel Sandwich Beams with Rubcrete and LECA Concrete Core
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3010005 - 07 Jan 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Due to the structural and economic features of steel–concrete–steel (SCS) structural systems compared with conventional reinforced concrete ones, they are now used for a range of structural applications. Rubcrete, in which crumbed rubber from scrap tires partially replaces mineral aggregates in concrete, can [...] Read more.
Due to the structural and economic features of steel–concrete–steel (SCS) structural systems compared with conventional reinforced concrete ones, they are now used for a range of structural applications. Rubcrete, in which crumbed rubber from scrap tires partially replaces mineral aggregates in concrete, can be used instead of conventional concrete. Utilizing rubber waste in concrete potentially results in a more ductile lightweight concrete that can introduce additional features to the SCS structural members. This study aimed to explore different concrete core materials in SCS beams and the appropriate shear connectors required. In this study, four SCS sandwich beams were tested experimentally under incrementally increasing flexure cyclic loading. Each beam had a length of 1000 mm, and upper and lower steel plates with 3 mm thickness sandwiched the concrete core, which had a cross-section of 150 mm × 150 mm. Two of the beams were constructed out of Rubcrete core with welded and bolted shear connectors, while the other two beams were constructed with welded shear connectors and either conventional concrete or lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) concrete cores. The performance of the SCS sandwich beams including damage pattern, failure mode, load-displacement response, and energy dissipation behavior was compared. The results showed that, while Rubcrete was able to provide similar concrete cracking behavior and strength to that of conventional concrete, LECA concrete degraded the strength properties of SCS. Using bolted shear connectors instead of welded ones caused a high number of cracks that resulted in a reduced ductility and deflection capacity of the beam before failure. The rubberized concrete specimen presented an improved ductility and deflection capacity compared with its conventional concrete counterpart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rubber Composites)
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