A bromobutyl tire inner liner compound was prepared and subjected to aerobic and anaerobic heat aging at a temperature of 100 °C for seven aging times up to 8 weeks. Hardness and mechanical properties were monitored, and the evolution of the crosslink density was followed using equilibrium solvent swell and low field double quantum (DQ) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The hardness and the 300% tensile stress increased with heat aging, while both tensile strength and elongation at break dropped. Both chain scission and crosslinking reactions were taking place. Equilibrium swelling and DQ NMR results confirmed that a larger crosslink density increase was seen under aerobic versus anaerobic aging conditions. The network distribution consisting of a dominant low crosslinking zone and small areas of higher crosslinking slowly broadened and shifted toward higher crosslink densities upon heat aging. The compounds aged heterogeneously. Attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed the presence of an oxidized surface layer, and therefore diffusion-limited oxidation effects, but only under aerobic aging conditions. Reaction mechanisms are proposed to explain the net crosslink rise with heat aging.

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