Eight carbon black (CB)-filled ethylene–propylene–diene–methylene linkage (EPDM) rubbers were manufactured by varying the content and type of CB. Then, the relationship among crack damage caused by high-pressure hydrogen decompression, the hydrogen permeation properties, and the mechanical properties of the rubbers was investigated. The hydrogen gas permeability of the rubbers decreased with an increase in the CB content and depended little on primary particle size. In contrast, the hydrogen gas diffusivity and solubility depended on both the CB content and primary particle size, that is, the hydrogen gas diffusivity decreased with an increase in the CB content and a decrease in the primary particle size, and the hydrogen gas solubility increased with an increase in the CB content and a decrease in the primary particle size. As for the mechanical properties, the CB-filled rubbers were more strongly reinforced by an increase in the CB content and a decrease in the primary particle size. The crack damage by high-pressure hydrogen decompression became larger as the ratio of the hydrogen gas solubility to estimated internal pressure at crack initiation relating to the mechanical properties became larger. As a smaller CB particle increases the hydrogen gas solubility of EPDM rubbers, while at the same time it reinforces the rubbers, the crack damage in the CB-filled rubbers was not influenced by the primary particle size. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011
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