Abstract

Blending of elastomers is often used to enhance he performance characteristics of rubber products. This article reviews the thermodynamic principles underlying polymer-polymer miscibility, with special reference to elastomer blends. It discusses the distribution of fillers, additives and curatives in different phases of the blend and its effect on the properties of the vulcanizate. It describes the different methods used in preparing elastomer blends, with special emphasis on compatibilization. Characterization of blends using optical and electron microscopy, solution properties, thermal and dynamic mechanical methods have been described along with results. The effect of blending on mechanical properties, hysteresis, adhesion and tack, transport properties and electrical conductivity has been discussed. Past attempts for property enhancement by blending elastomers have been reviewed, followed by a discussion of commercial application of elastomer blends.

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