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Degradable elastomer composites containing layered silicate

M. Lipinska, M. Zaborski
Technical University of Lodz, PL

Keywords: elastomers, degradation, layered silicate, keratin, elastin


Polymers with an increased degree of degradability can be obtained through the addition of natural biodegradable supplements to the synthetic polymer. The aim of our study was to obtain an elastomeric composites determined time of degradability by the use of natural additives. As a fillers the modified and unmodified montmorllonites MMT have been applied to improve the mechanical properties of composites. During preparation of rubber mixtures (based on epoxidized natural rubber) to improve the dispersion of MMT and the ratio of degradation and biodegradation of the final composites keratin, elastin, silk proteins derived from waste products were added. The rheometric properties, curing kinetics, crosslink density and the network structure of vulcanizates as well as mechanical properties were studied. Thermal ageing studies were carried out and the ageing coefficient K was calculated. The application of hydrolyzed proteins improved the dispersion of the MMT in the ENR matrix. The addition of hydrolizates decreased curing time of ENR rubber crosslinked by sulphur curing system. The hydrolysates improved the thermal resistance of vulcanizates, also they influenced crosslink density of a filled ENR rubber. The application of hydrolysates resulted in an increased susceptibility for degradation of ENR during the storage on land and composting.
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