Summary Rubber nanocomposites based on the natural rubber (NR) and organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT) were prepared by melt intercalation technique using a laboratory open mill followed by compression molding. Organically modified organoclays with different d-spacing were added to the natural rubber matrix to examine the influence of d-spacing of organoclay on morphology, curing characteristic and mechanical property of nanocomposite. The characterizations were carried out by means of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron, atomic force microscopy and moving die rheometer. The results show that melt mixing by an open mill is an effective method for dispersing OMMT throughout the natural rubber matrix especially for organoclay cloisite 15A whose d-spacing is high and well dispersed in natural rubber matrix. The hardness and stresses at low strain of NR/organoclay nanocomposites slightly increased with increasing d-spacing of organoclay, but elongation at break decreased. The swelling behavior of NR/organoclay nanocomposite improved with increasing d-spacing of organoclay.
- natural rubber