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Abstract

The mechanical properties of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC)/styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) blends compatibilized by acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) were studied. A sulfur curing system was employed to crosslink the rubber of the blends. In the case of the blends without any curing agents, an increase in NBR content did not improve the tensile strength and elongation-at-break. However, a significant improvement in the mechanical properties was observed when NBR was added as a compatibilizer and the blend was vulcanized. In the PVC/NBR/SBR (50/10/40) blends, the tensile strength and elongation-at-break increased with an increase in sulfur concentration. This improvement was attributed to covulcanization between NBR and SBR. The fracture toughness of PVC/NBR/SBR (50/10/40) blends was characterized by the critical strain energy release rate, Gc. In the case of the PVC/NBR-29/SBR (50/10/40) blends, an increase in sulfur concentration resulted in a dramatic increase in Gc. However, the Gc value of PVC/NBR-40/SBR (50/10/40) blends decreased with an increase in sulfur concentration owing to the brittle behavior of one of the blend components—the PVC/NBR-40 (50/10) phase.