Special Issue "Advances in Rubber Composites"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biopolymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2020.

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
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rubber industry is facing challenges in order to meet 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 appears as a reasonable option. Self-healing rubber composites are an interesting alternative to the damage-and-discard cycle; up-graded reused or self-repaired rubber composites, with the recovery of more than one functionality, are in the front line of research. Moreover, rubber composites specifically designed with multifunctionalities and which perform well under extreme environmental conditions, such as those present in the gas and oil industry or in the aerospace industry, are considered as a niche of development and progress too.

This Special Issue is oriented toward all advanced rubber composites that, on one hand, harmonize with sustainability and circular economy principles and, on the other hand, have improved performance. Authors are encouraged to present new rubber composites that are economically and environmentally convenient with good overall performance and with self-repair ability. Thermally and electrically conductive rubber composites used as sensors or actuators will also be considered. Chemically and ice-resistant rubber composites would be of interest for this Issue too.

Research articles, review articles, perspectives, as well as communications and letters are all invited. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts will be refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts are available on the journal’s website.

Dr. Marianella Hernández Santana
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Rubber composites
  • Natural fibers
  • Self-healing rubber composites
  • Circular economy
  • Sustainability
  • Sensors
  • Actuators
  • Icephobic properties
  • Chemical resistance

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Characterizing Distributions of Tensile Strength and Crack Precursor Size to Evaluate Filler Dispersion Effects and Reliability of Rubber
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010203 - 13 Jan 2020
Abstract
Undispersed filler agglomerates or other substantial inclusions/contaminants in rubber can act as large crack precursors that reduce the strength and fatigue lifetime of the material. To demonstrate this, we use tensile strength (stress at break, σb) data from 50 specimens to [...] Read more.
Undispersed filler agglomerates or other substantial inclusions/contaminants in rubber can act as large crack precursors that reduce the strength and fatigue lifetime of the material. To demonstrate this, we use tensile strength (stress at break, σb) data from 50 specimens to characterize the failure distribution behavior of carbon black (CB) reinforced styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) compounds. Poor mixing was simulated by adding a portion of the CB late in the mixing process, and glass beads (microspheres) with 517 μm average diameter were introduced during milling to reproduce the effects of large inclusions. The σb distribution was well described with a simple unimodal Weibull distribution for the control compound, but the tensile strengths of the poor CB dispersion material and the compounds with the glass beads required bimodal Weibull distributions. For the material with the lowest level of glass beads—corresponding to less than one microsphere per test specimen—the bimodal failure distribution spanned a very large range of σb from 13.7 to 22.7 MPa in contrast to the relatively narrow σb distribution for the control from 18.4 to 23.8 MPa. Crack precursor size (c0) distributions were also inferred from the data, and the glass beads introduced c0 values in the 400 μm range compared to about 180 μm for the control. In contrast to σb, critical tearing energy (tear strength) was unaffected by the presence of the CB agglomerates and glass beads, because the strain energy focuses on the pre-cut macroscopic crack in the sample during tear testing rather than on the microscopic crack precursors within the rubber. The glass beads were not detected by conventional filler dispersion measurements using interferometric microscopy, indicating that tensile strength distribution characterization is an important complementary approach for identifying the presence of minor amounts of large inclusions in rubber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Giving a Second Opportunity to Tire Waste: An Alternative Path for the Development of Sustainable Self-Healing Styrene–Butadiene Rubber Compounds Overcoming the Magic Triangle of Tires
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2122; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122122 - 17 Dec 2019
Abstract
Current regulations demand tires with long lifetime and reduced fuel consumption without sacrificing car safety. However, tire technology still needs to reach a suitable balance between these three indicators. Here, we address them by developing a self-healing tire compound using styrene–butadiene rubber (SBR) [...] Read more.
Current regulations demand tires with long lifetime and reduced fuel consumption without sacrificing car safety. However, tire technology still needs to reach a suitable balance between these three indicators. Here, we address them by developing a self-healing tire compound using styrene–butadiene rubber (SBR) as the matrix and reclaimed tire waste as the sustainable filler. The addition of ground tire rubber (GTR) to the matrix simultaneously improved the rolling resistance and maintained both wet grip and healing ability. We provide an in-depth analysis of the healing behavior of the material at a scale close to the relevant molecular processes through a systematic dynamic-mechanical and dielectric analysis. We found that SBR and SBR/GTR compounds show a complete recovery of stiffness and relaxation dynamics after being damaged by cyclic deformation, resulting in a heterogeneous repaired rubber network. This new development could well overcome the so-called magic triangle of tires, which is certainly one of the key objectives of the tire industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Silicone Rubber Composites with High Breakdown Strength and Low Dielectric Loss Based on Polydopamine Coated Mica
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2030; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122030 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
High breakdown strength and low dielectric loss are necessary for the outdoor insulator using silicone rubber (SR) composites. In this work, polydopamine coated mica (mica-PDA) was synthesized via bioinspired dopamine self-polymerization, and mica-PDA-filled SR composite (SR/mica-PDA-VTMS) was prepared using vinyl tri-methoxysilane (VTMS) as [...] Read more.
High breakdown strength and low dielectric loss are necessary for the outdoor insulator using silicone rubber (SR) composites. In this work, polydopamine coated mica (mica-PDA) was synthesized via bioinspired dopamine self-polymerization, and mica-PDA-filled SR composite (SR/mica-PDA-VTMS) was prepared using vinyl tri-methoxysilane (VTMS) as a silane coupling agent which serves as the molecular bridges between the organic rubber and the inorganic filler. The SR/mica-PDA-VTMS composite demonstrated dense and uniform morphology where the filler was well dispersed. Due to the strong interfacial interactions between filler and rubber, the SR/mica-PDA-VTMS composite exhibits much lower dielectric loss compared to the other mica-filled SR composites, which was comparable to the prepared alumina-tri-hydrate-filled SR composites. Moreover, the breakdown strength of ~31.7 kV/mm and tensile strength of 5.4 MPa were achieved for the SR/mica-PDA-VTMS composite, much higher than those of the other as-prepared SR composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Glycidyl Methacrylate-Emulsion Styrene Butadiene Rubber (GMA-ESBR)/Silica Wet Masterbatch Compound
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11061000 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the tire industry, solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR), which can introduce a functional group with good reactivity to silica at chain ends, is used to increase rolling resistance performance by considering fuel economy. However, this is not environmentally friendly because SSBR uses [...] Read more.
In the tire industry, solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR), which can introduce a functional group with good reactivity to silica at chain ends, is used to increase rolling resistance performance by considering fuel economy. However, this is not environmentally friendly because SSBR uses an organic solvent for polymerization, and it is difficult to increase its molecular weight. Functionalized emulsion SBR (ESBR) can solve the problems of SSBR. The molecular weight of ESBR molecules can be easily increased in an eco-friendly solvent, i.e., water. A functionalized ESBR introduces a functional group with good reactivity to silica by introducing a third monomer during polymerization. In this field, glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) has been reported to show the best properties as a third monomer. However, for GMA-ESBR, the viscosity is high and processability is disadvantageous. Therefore, we polymerized GMA-ESBR and manufactured silica compounds to clarify the causes of these problems. In addition, wet masterbatch (WMB) technology, which is a new compound manufacturing method, was applied to manufacture the silica compound, and the physical properties are compared with those of a dry masterbatch. The results clarified the problem of GMA-ESBR, which could be solved by using WMB technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Functionalized Halloysite Nanotubes–Silica Hybrid for Enhanced Curing and Mechanical Properties of Elastomers
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050883 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Vulcanization and reinforcement are critical factors in governing the ultimate practical applications of elastomer composites. Here we achieved a simultaneous improvement of curing and mechanical properties of elastomer composites by the incorporation of a functionalized halloysite nanotubes–silica hybrid (HS-s-M). Typically, HS-s-M was synthesized [...] Read more.
Vulcanization and reinforcement are critical factors in governing the ultimate practical applications of elastomer composites. Here we achieved a simultaneous improvement of curing and mechanical properties of elastomer composites by the incorporation of a functionalized halloysite nanotubes–silica hybrid (HS-s-M). Typically, HS-s-M was synthesized by 2-mercapto benzothiazole (M) immobilized on the surface of halloysite nanotubes–silica hybrid (HS). It was found that the HS-s-M uniformly dispersed in the styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) matrix, offering more opportunity for M molecules to communicate with rubber. In addition, the physical loss of accelerator M from migration and volatilization was efficiently suspended. Therefore, SBR/HS-s-M composites showed a lower curing activation energy and a higher crosslinking density than SBR/HS composites. Moreover, a stronger interfacial interaction between HS-s-M and SBR was formed by the cross-linking reaction, giving a positive contribution to the eventual mechanical properties. The possible vulcanization and reinforcement mechanisms of SBR/HS-s-M composites were also analyzed in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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