ABSTRACT

Tires require rubber compounds capable of enduring more than 108 deformation cycles without developing cracks. One strategy for evaluating candidate compounds is to measure the intrinsic strength, which is also known as the fatigue threshold or endurance limit. The intrinsic strength is the residual strength remaining in the material after the strength-enhancing effects of energy dissipation in crack tip fields are removed. If loads stay always below the intrinsic strength (taking proper account of the possibility that the intrinsic strength may degrade with aging), then cracks cannot grow. Using the cutting protocol proposed originally by Lake and Yeoh, as implemented on a commercial intrinsic strength analyzer, the intrinsic strength is determined for a series of carbon black (CB) reinforced blends of natural rubber (NR) and butadiene rubber (BR) typical of tire applications. The intrinsic strength benefits of the blends over the neat NR and BR compounds are only observed after aging at temperatures in the range from 50 to 70 °C, thus providing fresh insights into the widespread durability success of CB-filled NR/BR blends in tire sidewall compounds and commercial truck tire treads.

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