Special Issue "Advances in Rubber Composites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Marianella Hernández Santana
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Polymer Science and Technology (ICTP-CSIC), Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Interests: elastomers; self-healing; nano(composite) materiales; dielectric spectroscopy
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 semimonthly 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 2200 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 (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Correlation between the Crosslink Characteristics and Mechanical Properties of Natural Rubber Compound via Accelerators and Reinforcement
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2020; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092020 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The extreme elasticity and reversible deformability of rubber, which is one of the most versatile polymers in modern society, is dependent on several factors, including the processing conditions, curing system, and types of additives used. Since the rubber’s mechanical properties are influenced by [...] Read more.
The extreme elasticity and reversible deformability of rubber, which is one of the most versatile polymers in modern society, is dependent on several factors, including the processing conditions, curing system, and types of additives used. Since the rubber’s mechanical properties are influenced by the existing structural crosslinks, their correlation with the crosslink characteristics of rubber was investigated using the equilibrium swelling theory of the Flory–Rehner equation and the rubber–filler interaction theory of the Kraus equation. Herein, we examined whether the accelerator and reinforcement agent quantitatively contributed to chemical cross-linkages and rubber–filler interaction. In conclusion, the accelerator content supported the chemically crosslinked structures of the monosulfides and the disulfides in natural rubber (NR). Additionally, these results demonstrated that the mechanical properties and the thermal resistance of NR were dependent on the crosslink characteristics. The findings of this study provide an insight into the development and application of NR products for the mechanical optimization of rubber-based products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Carboxylated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber/Epoxy/XNBR-grafted Halloysite Nanotubes Nanocomposites
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1192; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051192 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The effect of various amounts of carboxylated nitrile butadiene rubber (XNBR) functionalized halloysite nanotubes (XHNTs) on the cure characteristics, mechanical and swelling behavior of XNBR/epoxy compounds was experimentally and theoretically investigated. The morphology of the prepared XNBR/epoxy/XHNTs nanocomposites was imaged using scanning electron [...] Read more.
The effect of various amounts of carboxylated nitrile butadiene rubber (XNBR) functionalized halloysite nanotubes (XHNTs) on the cure characteristics, mechanical and swelling behavior of XNBR/epoxy compounds was experimentally and theoretically investigated. The morphology of the prepared XNBR/epoxy/XHNTs nanocomposites was imaged using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effects of various XNBR-grafted nanotubes on the damping factor of nanocomposites were evaluated by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). The cure behavior characterization indicated a fall in the scorch time, but a rise in the cure rate with higher loading of XHNTs into the XNBR/epoxy nanocomposites. SEM micrographs of tensile fracture surfaces were indicative of a rougher fracture surface with a uniform dispersion state of nanotubes into the polymer matrix in the XNBR/epoxy/XHNTs nanocomposites. The stress–strain behavior studies of XNBR/epoxy/XHNTs nanocomposites showed a higher tensile strength up to 40% with 7 wt % XHNTs loading. The theoretical predictions of uniaxial tensile behavior of nanocomposites using Bergström–Boyce model revealed that some of the material parameters were considerably changed with the XHNTs loading. Furthermore, the used theoretical model precisely predicted the nonlinear large strain hyperelastic behavior of nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrical Strength and Physicochemical Performances of HTV Silicone Rubber under Salt-Fog Environment with DC Energized
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020324 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In recent years, the performances of rubber composite insulators, which operate in the coastal foggy regions, have attracted researchers’ concern because of the observation of their degradation. In this paper, salt-fog experiments with DC test voltage of high-temperature vulcanized (HTV) silicone rubber (SR) [...] Read more.
In recent years, the performances of rubber composite insulators, which operate in the coastal foggy regions, have attracted researchers’ concern because of the observation of their degradation. In this paper, salt-fog experiments with DC test voltage of high-temperature vulcanized (HTV) silicone rubber (SR) have been conducted. The electrical strength and material performances of samples with salt-fog treatment were focused on. The DC flashover voltage, hydrophobicity, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and dielectric parameter were investigated. It was found that the samples’ performances deteriorated after salt-fog treatment. The DC flashover voltage of HTV SR decreased in the salt-fog environment. The hydrophobicity of the material deteriorated and the static contact angle (CA) became small. Under the action of electric and thermal stress, the surface of samples after salt-fog treatment became rough and porous. The absorption peak of the hydrophobic groups decreased, indicating that the molecular chain of SR material was broken, and the filler was consumed, bringing down the arc resistance of the sample. The absorption of moisture further led to insulation performance loss and then reduced the electrical strength of the material. Degradation of physicochemical properties will eventually lead to a decline in electrical strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Oil Palm Shell Reinforced Rubber Composites
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020314 - 03 Feb 2020
Abstract
This paper presents a pioneering effort to ascertain the suitability of hyperelastic modelling in simulating the stress–strain response of oil palm shell reinforced rubber (ROPS) composites. ROPS composites with different oil palm shell contents (0%, 5%, 10% and 20% by volume) were cast [...] Read more.
This paper presents a pioneering effort to ascertain the suitability of hyperelastic modelling in simulating the stress–strain response of oil palm shell reinforced rubber (ROPS) composites. ROPS composites with different oil palm shell contents (0%, 5%, 10% and 20% by volume) were cast in the laboratory for the experimental investigation. ROPS specimens with circular, square, hexagon, and octagon shapes (loading surface) were considered to evaluate the accuracy of finite element simulation considering the shape effect of composites. Strain-controlled (compressive) tests with ε ≈ 50% at 0.8 Hz frequency were conducted in the laboratory and the test data obtained was used as input to simulate material coefficients corresponding to the strain energy functions chosen. Five different strain energy functions were selected and utilized for the hyperelastic modelling in this study using finite element approach. The shape effect was then used to ascertain any variation in the simulation outcomes and to discuss the effect of shape on the behaviour of ROPS composites in comparison to existing literature. The numerical predictions using the Yeoh model (error ≤ 2.7% for circular shaped ROPS) were found to perform best in comparison with the experimental results, thus a more stable and suitable hyperelastic model to this end. The Marlow (error ≤ 4.6% for circular shaped ROPS) and Arruda Boyce (error ≤ 4.7% for circular shaped ROPS) models were amongst the next alternatives to perform better. Even with the other shapes considered in this study, Yeoh, followed by the Marlow function, were more appropriate models. The shape effect was then studied with particular emphasis on comparing and assessing them with that observed in the literature. To this end, adopting the Yeoh function in the finite element model is the ideal approach to estimate the stress–strain response of ROPS composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rubber Composites)
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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
Cited by 2
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
Cited by 7
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
Cited by 3
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 4
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 6
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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