Ceramic/natural rubber composites: influence types of rubber and ceramic materials on curing, mechanical, morphological, and dielectric properties
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Influence of different types of rubber and ceramic material on cure characteristics, mechanical, morphological, and dielectric properties of natural rubber (NR) vulcanizate was studied. Two types of ferroelectric ceramic materials: barium titanate (BaTiO3) and lead titanate (PbTiO3) were prepared by solid-state reaction with calcinations at 1100 °C for 2 h. The ceramic powders were then characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), particle size analyzer, and SEM techniques. Ceramic/rubber composites were then prepared by melt mixing of rubber and ceramic powders. Two different types of NR (i.e., epoxidized NR [ENR] and unmodified NR) and two types of ceramic powders (i.e., BaTiO3 and PbTiO3) were exploited. It was found that incorporation of ceramic powders in rubber matrix and the presence of epoxirane rings in ENR molecules caused faster curing reaction, and higher delta torque but lower elongation at break. This is attributed to lower mobility of molecular chains and higher interaction between ENR molecules. Furthermore, SEM results revealed that the BaTiO3 composites showed finer and better distribution of the particles in the rubber matrix than that of the PbTiO3 composite. This caused superior mechanical properties of the BaTiO3 composites. Furthermore, higher dielectric constant and loss tangent was observed in the ENR/BaTiO3 composites.