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Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council - Nanocomposites prove efficient in improving mechanical properties of rubber

DCN Corp® - Morphology of rubber-Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles composite.  Credit - Qom University of Technology (as part of Iran's INIC)Interestingly researchers from Iran have managed to improve the mechanical properties of rubber by using Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles in a homogeneous annealing process.  The Iranian researchers originated from Qom University of Technology (as part of the country's Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC)).  Essentially the researchers succeeded in increasing the thermal resistant (lifetime) and/or mechanical properties of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) - commonly known as rubber.  The research focused on the effect of using ZnO nanoparticles in the annealing system of EPDM, on the lifetime of the rubber and the extent of mechanical changes in the elastomer.

Precise morphology analysis was undertaken of the rubber-ZnO nanoparticles (as a nano-composite).  The researchers obtained data concerning the size distribution of the ZnO nanoparticles to finely control the annealing process.  In the second step, the researchers studied the improvement in the thermal resistant of the rubber.  Thermal resistance was analysed by measuring the activation energy and reaction degree of the degradation, by using Friedman and Kissinger kinetics models.  As a final step, the researchers compared the mechanical properties of the nanocomposite - including roughness, resilience and mechano-dynamic tests - alongside other common annealing systems.

Final results of the research demonstrated that thermal resistance against degradation and lifetime increase occurs when an increase of approximately 200% takes place within the activation energy of the EPDM degradation reaction.  The increase in lifetime is due to homogenization of the elastomer annealing system by the presence of ZnO nanoparticles at a pre-selected area.  Overall a performance increase of about 10-30% was observed.  The increase in performance came about in abrasion resistance, resilience and roughness dependent on the volume ratio of ZnO nanoparticles used in the rubber.

Typically the lifetime of an elastomer increased markedly by introducing the above nanometric annealing methodology, which is very much dependent on the original mix-up of the nano-composite polymer.  Subsequently it is claimed environmental pollution decreases - especially since a non-degradable rubber is no longer required to be replaced by another piece.  Original article available here

Please Note results of the above Iranian research were published in the Journal of Analysis and Calorimetry 110, 3, 1407-1414 (2012)

As has proven when highlighting other nano-fabrication methodologies - DCN Corp strongly believes it can easily help facilitate the above set-up.  Therefore, if you and/or your colleagues are interested in making the above research findings reality - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.