Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Continuous ultrasonic devulcanization of unfilled butadiene rubber

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2004


The devulcanization of sulfur-cured unfilled butadiene rubber (BR) with a grooved-barrel ultrasonic reactor under various processing conditions was carried out. The experiments indicated that BR had a narrow devulcanization window. Outside this window, significant degradation or no devulcanization occurred. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) measurements were carried out with the sol part of virgin and devulcanized samples to study the breakdown of the polymeric chains. The GPC data showed a significant molecular weight reduction and a broadening of the molecular weight distribution upon devulcanization, indicating that the devulcanization and degradation of BR occurred simultaneously. The rheological properties showed that devulcanized BR was more elastic than the virgin gum. The vulcanizates of the blends of virgin and devulcanized BR showed a considerable enhancement of the mechanical properties. The thermal behaviors of the virgin and devulcanized BR were found to be different.



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