Effects of Particle Size and Size Distribution on the Mechanical Properties of EPDM/Silica Vulcanizates
In this work we present the influence of different particle size (surface areas: 120,150, 200 and 250 m2/g) and size distribution of precipitated silica on the mechanical properties of Ethylene- Propylene-Diene (EPDM) rubber. The vulcanization system employed was efficient. Compounds were prepared using a Banbury internal mixer. Tensile and tear properties of vulcanized blends were determined according to ASTM D412 and ASTM D624 procedures, respectively. Results show an increasing tendency on tensile properties when particle size decreases, due to the better dispersion of the filler and to a greater interaction with the rubber. Increases of up to 500% on tensile strength and 400% on tear strength were observed. However, there was an incoherent behavior for the silica with surface area of 200 m2/g (Si-200), so size distribution of the aggregates was experimentally determined by a microphotography study. Secondary aggregates size distribution was very different for each type of silica. Aggregates for Si-200 presented a bimodal distribution where the greater frequencies correspond to aggregates with surface area higher than the corresponding values for the Si-120. This fact could explain why the mechanical properties of the EPDM filled with Si-200 are not in between the values of the compounds filled with Si-150 and Si-250.
Alan K.T. Lau, J. Lu, Vijay K. Varadan, F.K. Chang, J.P. Tu and P.M. Lam
M.N. Ichazo et al., "Effects of Particle Size and Size Distribution on the Mechanical Properties of EPDM/Silica Vulcanizates", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 47-50, pp. 113-116, 2008