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Keywords:

  • blends;
  • gas permeation;
  • mechanical properties;
  • networks;
  • swelling

Abstract

The effects of the high-density polyethylene volume fraction on the curing characteristics and network structure of rubber blends have been studied in terms of the torque, scorch time, optimum curing time, Mooney viscosity, number of elastically effective chains, viscosity, interfacial tension, glass-transition temperature, scanning electron microscopy, internal friction, sound velocity, acoustic attenuation, polymer–solvent interaction parameter, swelling index, and gel fraction. The applicability of the blends for gasoline barriers has been examined through the changes in the electrical resistance and volumetric swelling in gasoline versus time at room temperature. The transport mechanism of the solvent through the crosslinked butyl rubber/high-density polyethylene blends is governed by Fickian diffusion law. The transport coefficients, namely, the diffusion coefficient, intrinsic diffusion, and permeation coefficient, have been computed. The experimental data for the permeation coefficient are in good agreement with the values calculated by Maxwell's model and far from those of Robeson's model. In addition, some thermodynamics parameters, namely, the standard entropy, standard enthalpy, and standard Gibbs free energy, have been estimated as functions of the high-density polyethylene concentration of the butyl rubber blends. Furthermore, the applicability of butyl rubber/high-density polyethylene composites for Freon gas barriers and antistatic charge dissipation has been examined. Finally, the mechanical properties, such as the tensile strength, hardness, stiffness, and elongation at break, of butyl rubber composites with different high-density polyethylene concentrations have been evaluated. The increase in the mechanical properties is due to the increase in the crosslinking density and the interfacial adhesion of the blend. This proves that these new blends have important technological applications as gasoline and Freon barriers and for antistatic charge dissipation with good mechanical properties. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 101: 1237–1247, 2006