Publisher: Chemical Society of Nigeria

Physico-Mechanical Properties of Vulcanizates From Modified Saw Dust and Low Molecular Weight Natural Rubber.

A. K Akinlabi, N. O. Etafo, S. A Oguntubo, O. H Bello, O. K Oderinde, O. K. Koleoso, A. S. Arowolo, S. O. Alayande
KEYWORDS: low molecular weight, depolymerisation, vulcanizate, additives, physico-mechanical properties


Natural rubber is an elastomer that is widely used and derived from Hevea Brasiliensis tree. In this study, rubber was used to prepare low molecular weight natural rubber (LMWNR) of 28,866gmol-1 molecular weight by depolymerization  using nitrobenzene. Instead of the traditional Carbon additive, sawdust was modified and used in the compounding of the LMWNR. The XRF analysis showed that the modified sawdust has higher concentration of As, Ca, and Fe, and the unmodified has higher concentration of K. The unmodified and modified sawdust samples were used in the compounding of LMWNR to obtain three vulcanizates as follows: Vulca A-carbon black N330 and LMWNR, Vulca B-modified sawdust and LMWNR, Vulca C-unmodified sawdust.  The physico-mechanical properties of the three  were carried out and results indicates that elongation at break and tensile strength of Vulca C was the highest, followed by Vulca B while the least was Vulca A. The hardness test showed that vulca A has the highest while vulca-B and -C have the same value. The test showed vulca A has the highest, with the least being Vulca B. Generally, the trend observed from this result showed the modified sawdust samples have lower recovery tendencies thereby acting as semi-reinforcing filler while the unmodified acted as reinforcing filler

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