• cellular rubber;
  • blowing agent;
  • natural rubber;
  • mechanical properties;
  • foam


The effects of addition of two chemical blowing agents in cellular rubber blend of natural rubber (NR) and styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) at a fixed blend ratio of 1 : 1 on cure characteristics, and mechanical and morphological properties were invesigated. The chemical blowing agents used in this work were Oxybis (benzene sulfonyl) hydrazide (OBSH) and Azo dicarbonamide (ADC). Three different fillers, fly ash (FA) particles, precipitated silica, carbon black (CB) at their optimum concentrations of 40 phr were used, the FA and silica particles being chemically treated by bis-(3-triethoxysilylpropyl) tetrasulphide. The results suggested that the overall cure time decreased with OBSH and ADC contents. The OBSH was more effective in cure-acceleration of the NR/SBR blend than the ADC. The NR/SBR vulcanized foams produced by OBSH and ADC agents had closed-cell structures. The specific density and mechanical properties of the blend tended to decrease with increasing blowing agent content. The CB gave NR/SBR foams with smaller cell size, better cell dispersion, and higher mechanical properties than the precipitated silica and FA particles. The heat ageing and weathering resulted in an increase in tensile modulus and hardness, but lowered the tensile strength, ultimate elongation and tear strength. The elastic recovery for cellular NR/SBR vulcanizates with FA was superior to that with CB and silica, the elastic recovery of the blends decreasing with blowing agent content. Resilience property was improved by the presence of gas phases. The optimum concentration of OBSH and ADC to be used for NR/SBR vulcanizates was 4 phr. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009