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Abstract

The crosslinking efficiency of sulfur in the vulcanization system comprising (in parts by weight) natural rubber (100), sulfur (1.5), N-cyclohexylbenzothiazole-2-sulfenamide (2.37), zinc oxide (5), and lauric acid (1–10) is relatively insensitive to the lauric acid concentration and to the temperature of vulcanization (between 100 and 140°C.). The networks formed contain initially 8–11 combined sulfur atoms per chemical crosslink present, but this number falls progressively to about 4 as the reaction proceeds. The results are consistent with the intermediate formation of a rubber-soluble complex of cyclohexylamine with zinc benzothiazolyl mercaptide. This complex is believed to be responsible also for the further slow crosslinking which the vulcanizates undergo on standing at room temperature.