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Grafting of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate on butyl rubber using electron beam radiation



Being nonpolar in nature, butyl rubber (IIR) has poor compatibility toward polar polymers and fillers. It can be improved by grafting polar substrates on the butyl elastomer. Radiation-induced polymer processing is getting increasing interest, as it leads to new and improved polymers with desirable and interesting properties. In this investigation, electron beam radiation has been used to graft methyl methacrylate (MMA) and butyl acrylate (BA) on IIR. This process has several advantages over conventional grafting processes such as cationic polymerization (which needs very low temperature and stringent reaction conditions) and solution radical polymerization (which often needs solvent removal and recycling). The grafted polymers were characterized by using 1H NMR, IR, TGA, and SEM analysis. The degree of grafting increases with a decrease in irradiation dose as well as with an increase in monomer concentration. It was observed that there was a decrease in intrinsic viscosity in irradiated IIR samples, indicating the chain scission. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 101: 1340–1346, 2006