Original Article

Subject Category: Physical Properties of Polymers

Polymer Journal (2010) 42, 319–326; doi:10.1038/pj.2010.4; published online 17 February 2010

Significantly improved performance of rubber/silica composites by addition of sorbic acid

Baochun Guo1, Feng Chen1, Yanda Lei1 and Weiwei Chen1

1Department of Polymer Materials and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, PR China

Correspondence: Dr B Guo, Department of Polymer Materials and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, PR China. E-mail: psbcguo@scut.edu.cn

Received 11 August 2009; Revised 11 December 2009; Accepted 1 January 2010; Published online 17 February 2010.

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Abstract

Sorbic acid (SA) was used to improve the performance of styrene–butadiene rubber (SBR)/silica composites by direct blending. The mechanisms for the significantly improved performance were studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and by the determinations of bound rubber content and crosslink density. The strong interfacial bonding between silica and the rubber matrix resulted from SA-intermediated linkages. Significantly improved dispersion of silica by virtue of the interactions between silica and SA was found. Formation of zinc disorbate during compounding of composites was confirmed. The effects of SA content on vulcanization behavior, morphology, mechanical properties and abrasion loss of composites were studied. Significantly improved mechanical properties of SA-modified SBR/silica composites were demonstrated. Changes in vulcanization behavior, morphology and performance were correlated with the interactions between silica and SA and the largely improved dispersion of silica.

Keywords:

interface; SA; SBR; silica; zinc disorbate

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