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CHAPTER 1

Natural Rubber Based Blends and IPNs: State of the Art, New Challenges and Opportunities

Interpenetrating network polymers (IPNs) are chemically homogeneous (on a sciently large scale binary systems) that can be conveniently prepared by swelling first the loosely crosslinked component in a suitably chosen monomer and subsequently crosslinking the latter. The properties of blends and IPNs are dependent on the two-phase nature, phase continuity, domain size and molecular mixing at phase boundaries. A study of morphology, glass transition temperature, modulus, etc., explains the properties of any two-component system. Natural rubber (NR) is a typical elastomer having good resilience, elongation and elasticity, ease of storage, milling and the possibility of using different vulcanization processes. Semi-IPNs based on NR/polystyrene (PS), where only the NR phase is crosslinked, offer a binary polymer system network having the elastomeric properties of NR imparted to the hard brittle properties of PS. Physical blends of NR and 1,2-polybutadiene (1,2-PBD), a thermoplastic rubber, combine the good physical and superior ageing properties of 1,2-PBD with the unique elastomeric/hysteresis characteristics of blends based on NR and ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) (physical blends and statically vulcanized) combine the good elastomeric and mechanical properties of NR with the excellent ageing and flex crack resistance of EVA.

Print publication date: 05 Dec 2013
Copyright year: 2014
Print ISBN: 978-1-84973-610-7
PDF eISBN: 978-1-84973-764-7
From the book series:
Polymer Chemistry Series