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A new method to predict optimum cure time of rubber compound using dynamic mechanical analysis



The degree of vulcanization of a rubber compound has a big influence on the properties of the final product. Therefore, precisely defining the curing process including optimum cure time is important to ensure the production of final products having high performance. Typically, vulcanization is represented using vulcanization curves. The main types of equipment used for producing vulcanization curves are the oscillating disc rheometer (ODR) and the moving die rheometer (MDR). These can be used to plot graphs of torque versus time at a constant temperature to show how cure is proceeding. Based on the results obtained, optimum cure time (t90) is calculated as the time required for the torque to reach 90% of the maximum achievable torque. In this study, the use of Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) for assessment of t90 was assessed. DMA was carried out using shear mode isothermal tests to measure the changes in material properties caused by vulcanization. The results revealed that the shear storage modulus (G′), shear loss modulus (G′′), and tan δ all reflect the vulcanization process, however, tan δ gave the best representation of level of vulcanization. Indeed, the curve of tan δ was able to be used to derive the t90 for rubber compounds and showed good agreement with the results from an MDR. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2014, 131, 40008.