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Abstract

A new method has been developed for measuring the number of molecules of oxygen required (ϵ) to cause a main chain scission in peroxide vulcanizates of natural rubber. This method is based on experimentally derived relationships and is not dependent on statistical theories of rubber elasticity. The value ϵ is only slightly temperature dependent, ranging from 28 at 65°C. to 22 at 100°C. The effects of several types of antioxidant have been examined, in all cases ϵ was greatly reduced. The effect of antioxidant 2246 has been studied in more detail and the results indicate that there is a high probability of scission occurring at the termination step in the oxidation chain.