Journal Papers Published by the Rubber Research Group
"Natural Rubber Nanocomposites by in situ Modification of Clay"
Author(s): D.J. Lowe, A.V. Chapman, S. Cook and J.J.C. Busfield
Journal: Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, Vol. 296, DOI: 10.1002/mame.201000395
Nanocomposites were produced by organic modification of clay during mixing into natural rubber (NR). NR/organo-montmorillonite (OMMT) nanocomposites showed more intercalation and exfoliation as modifier content increased, increasing tensile modulus primarily by improved filler reinforcement. Comparison with nominally identical pre-modified OMMT showed similar microstructures and physical properties. No effect of mixing duration was observed, indicating that modification is rapid. Unlike montmorillonite, unmodified sepiolite dispersed well in NR, so organo-modification improved compatibility but did not affect the nanocomposite microstructure. This means that organo-sepiolite offers relatively small improvements over sepiolite as a filler for NR.