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Effect of surface-modified zinc oxide as cure activator on the properties of a rubber compound based on NR/SBR



Zinc oxide (ZnO) and nano-zinc oxide (nZnO) were surface modified by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and poly propylene glycol (PPG). Modification of particles were controlled by transmission electron microscopy, Brunauer, Emmett, Teller specific surface area measurement, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. IR spectra were shown that the interactions between surface modifiers and particles are hydrogen bonding. Modified particles were applied as an activator in vulcanization of natural rubber/styrene butadiene rubber (NR/SBR) blend. Dispersion of modified particles in rubber matrix was investigated by scanning electron microscopy and shown good results. Blend properties were improved by using modified particles. These improvements were due to the better hydrophobicity of modified particles, which were more compatible with nonpolar rubber matrix and caused better participation in curing process. Modification by PEG and PPG were shown better compound properties for ZnO and nZnO, respectively. Application of ZnO-modified particles were presented better compound properties in comparison with nZnO-modified particles. It has confirmed more effective mixing of ZnO-modified particles in rubber matrix by using ordinary mixers. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011