ABSTRACT

Nanofillers of type few layer graphene (FLG) characterized with “low” surface area (<40 m2/g) were studied as reinforcing agents in poly (1,4-cis-isoprene) (IR matrix), and their roles in enhancing mechanical properties of rubber nanocomposites were demonstrated. The adsorption isotherms show that FLG surface areas were 13.8 m2/g for SFG6, 23.8 m2/g for KS4, and 39.5 m2/g for EXG 9840. All FLG had remarkable in-plane crystallinity and were characterized by a lower number of layers stacked (45–48) in the crystalline domain. Rheometric curves were studied to estimate the scorch time (t05) and curing time (t90). Tensile and dynamic–mechanical analyses show that FLG forms filler networks at low filler content. Tensile properties show that EXG 9840/IR has a lower reinforcing factor and elongation at break than KS4 FLG nanofiller. A series of experiments shows the dependency surface area of FLG in enhancing mechanical properties of nanocomposites. The work suggests that lower surface area should be selected in order to have lower dissipation of energy and efficient filler networking.

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