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Abstract

The melt rheology of blends of natural rubber (NR) and ethylene–vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) has been studied with reference to the effects of blend ratio, cross-linking systems, shear stress, and temperature. When EVA formed the dispersed phase, the viscosity of the blends was found to be a nonadditive function of the viscosities of the component polymers at lower shear region, i.e., a positive deviation was observed. This behavior has been explained based on structural buildup of dispersed EVA domains in the continuous NR matrix. The effect of the addition of silica filler on the flow characteristics of the blends has been investigated. The melt elasticity parameters such as die swell, principal normal stress difference, recoverable shear strain, and elastic shear modulus of NR–EVA blends were also evaluated. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.