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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 14, 2021

Morphological and Mechanical Properties of Thermoplastic Elastomers Based on Recycled High Density Polyethylene and Recycled Natural Rubber

A. Fazli and D. Rodrigue

Abstract

In this work, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are produced by melt mixing of recycled high-density polyethylene (RHD) with two types of off-the-road (OTR) ground tire rubber (GTR). Non-regenerated (NR) and regenerated (RR) rubbers are used to investigate the effect of GTR concentration and regeneration on the blends properties containing up to 90 wt.% GTR. The blend morphology is studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to show incompatibility and low interfacial adhesion between RHD and GTR (NR and RR) especially above 40 wt.% RR. This behavior is attributed to the GTR regeneration process and agglomeration of RR particles with lower surface area and affinity toward RHD compared with NR. In all the compounds, the mechanical properties in tension of RR blends were lower than for NR blends, which is attributed to the degradation of the GTR backbone chains lowering the molecular weight (MW) during the regeneration process. Also, NR has a more important effect on impact strength improvement due to its higher crosslinked structure making the particles more deformable/elastic to absorb the mechanical energy before crack initiation. The experimental results also show that 80 wt.% GTR is the optimum concentration for the production of low cost and eco-friendly TPE based on recycled materials.


* Mail address: Denis Rodrigue, Department of Chemical Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, G1 V 0A6, Canada


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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the technical support of the Research Center on Advanced Materials (CERMA). The rubber particles used for this work were kindly supplied by Phoenix Innovation Technologies (Montreal, QC, Canada). Finally, the technical help of Mr. Yann Giroux was highly appreciated.

Received: 2020-07-20
Accepted: 2020-09-26
Published Online: 2021-05-14
Published in Print: 2021-05-26

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston, Germany

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