New Insights into Rubber Network Structure By a Combination of Experimental Techniques

Thursday, October 13, 2016: 1:00 PM
Rm 303 (David L. Lawrence Convention Center )
Beatriz Basterra-Beroiz1, Robert Rommel1, Francois Kayser1, Stephan Westermann1, Juan L. Valentin2 and Gert Heinrich3, (1)Goodyear Innovation Center Luxembourg, Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, (2)Grupo de Elastomeros // Elastomers Group, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnologia de Polimeros (CSIC), Madrid, Spain, (3)Leibniz-Institut fuer Polymerforschung Dresden e.V., Dresden, Germany

Robust quantitative cross-link density characterization becomes necessary for the complete understanding of the structure and optimization of final properties of rubber compounds for industrial applications. A combination of several modern experimental techniques is used to establish quantitative correlations between the results obtained by the individual methods.


The contribution of crosslinks and elastically active entanglements to mechanical properties is quantified by the analysis of uniaxial stress-strain measurements by means of the Tube Model of Rubber Elasticity [1,2]. In a complementary manner, rubber network structure has also been investigated by state-of-the-art Multiple-Quantum low-field NMR experiments [3] and classical T1 and T2 relaxation measurements. In addition, equilibrium swelling data were analyzed by the classical phantom and Flory-Rehner limits, as well as the theoretical approach proposed by Helmis, Heinrich and Straube [4], which takes into account topological constraints during swelling.


Correlations among the used techniques are reported, and the interpretation of the obtained differences is addressed. The baseline study focuses on unfilled NR, setting the basis for the investigation of unfilled SBR matrices and filled rubbers.





[1] G. Heinrich, E. Straube, G. Helmis. Adv. Polym. Sci.,1988, 85, 33-87.

[2] G. Heinrich and T. A. Vilgis. Macromolecules, 1993, 26 (5), 1109-1119.

[3] K. Saalwächter. Prog. Nucl. Magn. Reson. Spectr., 2007, 51, 1-35.

[4] G. Helmis, G. Heinrich, E. Straube. Plaste und Kautschuk. 33. Jahrgang. Heft 2/1986, pp. 53-55.