Zinc oxide whisker with a tetrapod shape was treated with a coupling agent using an orthogonal design and was mixed into the substrate of natural rubber to obtain the composites. The results of the experimental tests show that the tensile strength of the composites progressively increases with an increased amount of the related whisker. The experiments also indicate that the rubber reinforced by the tetrapod-shaped ZnO whisker is distinct isotropy. The wear tests demonstrate that the composites containing ZnO whisker appear to have good wear-resistance behavior. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 80: 1520–1525, 2001
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