Comparing an innovative intermeshing lab-scale compounder with a conventional rubber mixing proces

Comparing an innovative intermeshing lab-scale compounder with a conventional rubber mixing proces

Materials and Methods:

EPDM/100 phr CB and EPDM/50 phr Silica compounds were processed on our Xplore  MC 15 HT for 3 minutes. Curing behaviour, dispersion of fillers and mechanical properties were compared with samples prepared on a Banbury internal mixer followed by two-roll milling. 

The MDR Data EPDM compounds: 

The Banbury mixer and MC15HT yielded nearly similar curing behaviours, both for EPDM/CB and EPDM/Silica compounds.

Mechanical properties EPDM Compounds:

Mechanical properties of EPDM compounds are represented in Figure 3. “Tensile Strength” data revealed that the tensile strength obtained from the MC15HT is higher than that of the Banbury mixer. This is possibly due to better dispersion of both CB and silica fillers. Additionally, the scatter of the data obtained from MC15HT is lower than that of the Banbury mixer due to better homogenisation of the sample batches. A similar trend was observed at the “Elongation at Break” values. 

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results:

Banbury mixer, CB was dispersed homogeneously in EPDM compounds, independently from the sample preparation. Due to the challenging dispersion nature of silica in rubbers, agglomerated silica particles were used to compare with CB. EPDM/silica composites were prepared in a Banbury mixer; the silica dispersion was less homogeneous than MC15HT batches. Particle diameters of silica in EPDM ranged from 10 to 110 µm. In the MC15HT@25 rpm, the processed EPDM/silica compounds lead to a homogeneous dispersion of silica agglomerates. The average diameter of silica particles was 20 µm.

Torque measurement on the MC15HT:

The rheological properties provide information about cross-linking characteristics of rubbers. The torque curve generated during dynamic rubber cross-linking in an MC15HT could be proficient in future rubber R&D. The main advantage of this integrated measurement is you could avoid an additional analysing step. Obtained nascent rheological data from MC15HT is currently evaluated to determine correlations with MDR curves. 

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