• natural rubber;
  • kaolin;
  • nanocomposite;
  • rubber seed oil;
  • organomodification


China clay (kaolin) has been modified with sodium salt of rubber seed oil (SRSO). SRSO was characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and differential thermal analysis (DTA). XRD of the unmodified and SRSO-modified kaolins showed an increase in the d-(001) spacing of kaolin platelets from 7.15 to 14 Å. FTIR spectroscopy indicated possible grafting of the organic moiety of rubber seed oil (RSO) onto the clay surface. DTA of the SRSO-modified kaolin indicated that the SRSO is more strongly bound in a constraint environment within the lamellae of kaolin. Natural rubber (NR) mix containing 10 phr of SRSO-modified kaolin was found to cure faster than that of a similar mix containing unmodified kaolin. NR vulcanizates containing SRSO-modified kaolin showed considerable increase in tensile modulus, tensile strength, and elongation at break indicating its potential as an organomodified nanofiller. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2008