Introduction: Natural rubber and epoxidized natural rubber composites reinforced with clay have been synthesized in this study using two roll mixing mill.
Objective: The aim of the research work was to investigate the influence of clay on the overall performance of NR and ENR based composites.
Methods: The effect of clay concentration on basic mechanical properties and molecular transport phenomena of the elastomeric composites was analyzed. Tensile strength and tear strength variation as a function of clay concentration were studied.
Results: It was found that as clay concentration increased up to 4 phr, tensile strength improved up to 22.5 MPa and tear strength up to 32 MPa, beyond which it went down. It was also found that corresponding to 4 phr clay concentrations, the crosslink density of the composite was at a maximum of 1.45 gmol/cc.
Conclusion: As the clay contents are added into the elastomeric matrix system, initially there is a decrease in the swelling coefficient, but later at higher loading, the swelling coefficient increases due to the agglomeration of clay particles in the matrix.