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  • 1 Polymer Engineering Group, Department of Engineering, Qom University of Technology, Qom, Iran
  • 2 Department of Polymer Engineering, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
  • 3 Amirkabir Nanotechnology Research Institute (ANTRI), Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
  • 4 Department of Chemical Engineering, Polymer Engineering Group, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
  • 5 Department of Polymer Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
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Abstract

The morphology, thermal degradation behavior in addition to static and dynamic mechanical properties of various ethylene–propylene–diene (EPDM) rubber compounds containing nano-zinc oxide (NZnO) were investigated compared to those of EPDM with ordinary-sized ZnO (OSZnO). The field-emission scanning electron microscopy studies showed that unlike the conventional system, the formation of large size ZnO agglomerates was discouraged for NZnO filled systems. Thermogravimetric analysis (TG) revealed that the thermal degradation of EPDM system was delayed upon the inclusion of NZnO instead of OSZnO in the compound. The kinetic analysis of TG data based on Friedman and Kissinger methods showed that the nanocomposite samples exhibited higher activation energy (Ea) and lower order of reaction (n) over the conventional system, suggesting the enhancement of thermal stability upon decreasing ZnO particle size. The results obtained from dynamic mechanical analysis and static mechanical characterizations in terms of hardness, resilience, and abrasion tests interestingly indicated that NZnO not merely could act as a thermal insulator, but also could perform as a nano-filler to improve the final performance of EPDM elastomers.

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