Processability, curing characteristics and vulcanizate properties of EPDM compounds containing ground waste EPDM (W-EPDM) have been studied. Ground waste was prepared from factory scraps, using a mechanical grinder with silicon carbide abrasive wheel rotating at 2950 rpm. The particle size shows a range between 2 and 50 μm, with an average size of 10 μm. Particle surface seems to be rough and convoluted and mild oxidation during the abrasion enhances the aggregation of particles. Mooney scorch time and the maximum rheometric torque of the EPDM compound decrease gradually with increasing W-EPDM content. Migration of curatives between the virgin rubber and waste rubber phases is believed to be the reason for the variation in the curing behavior. The processability of the EPDM compound shows improvement on addition of W-EPDM (that is, both die swell and extrudate distortion are less). The vulcanizate properties of the W-EPDM-filled EPDM compounds reveal the reinforcing nature of the ultrafine W-EPDM particles. Comparison of W-EPDM with an inert filler like precipitated CaCO3 in an EPDM compound reveals the potential of W-EPDM as a cheap filler in EPDM compounds. It is also found that W-EPDM can be incorporated into the window seal compound formulation and the drop in properties even at 100 phr of W-EPDM is within acceptable limit, thus providing a scope for on-site recycling of EPDM.

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