ABSTRACT

Silica wet-masterbatch (WMB) is a well-known technique for manufacturing high-content, highly dispersed silica-filled compounds. Emulsion styrene–butadiene rubber (ESBR)/silica WMB offers several advantages, including excellent silica dispersion and reduced hysteresis, as compared with conventional dry masterbatch (DMB) compound. However, because of the residual emulsifiers in ESBR latex, it can exhibit a decrease in the crosslink density and reductions in its mechanical properties. Moreover, the abrasion resistance cannot be significantly enhanced because of the tradeoff between the improvement in silica dispersion and decrease in crosslink density. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to improve the silica dispersion and abrasion resistance of ESBR/silica WMB compounds by using liquid polybutadiene rubber (LqBR) extended WMB. In detail, three types of LqBR were emulsified to LqBR emulsions, and three types of LqBR extended WMBs were produced by co-coagulating ESBR latex, silane-modified silica, and the LqBR emulsion. A thorough characterization was conducted with emphasis on the silica content, cure characteristics, mechanical properties, abrasion resistance, and dynamic viscoelastic properties. Based on the results, silane-terminated LqBR extended WMB vulcanizate showed a 58% improvement in the 300% modulus, 48% reduced DIN abrasion loss, and a 23% improvement in dynamic properties.

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