Preparation of an oil-absorptive gel containing a 4-t-butyl styrene–EPDM–divinyl benzene graft polymer by reactive processing
A 4-t-butyl styrene–ethylene propylene diene monomer–divinyl benzene (tBS–EPDM–DVB) gel was prepared by reactive hot-pressing by reacting an EPDM melt with tBS using DVB and bis(tert-butyl peroxy isopropyl)benzene (BIBP) as a crosslinker and initiator, respectively. The structure and properties of the tBS–EPDM–DVB gel were verified by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) study, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that tBS–EPDM–DVB gels have a microphase separated structure, enhanced stiffness and good thermal ability. The maximum value of oil absorbency to chloroform was 15.9 g g−1. The compression set and hardness of the tBS–EPDM–DVB gels both increased with an increasing tBS/EPDM mass ratio. Moreover, the tBS–EPDM–DVB gels also maintained their integrity and showed low compression set values after oil absorption. We conclude that the new reactive processing method to prepare oil absorptive gels has remarkable potential in large-scale industrial applications.