The role of functional polymers in rubber powder/thermoplastic composites
Low density polyethylene (LDPE), ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer with 10-14 wt % (EVA-1) and 24-30 wt % vinyl acetate (EVA-2) contents, respectively, and ethylene-vinyl acetate-maleic anhydride terpolymer (OREVAC) were combined with rubber powder in the composition range: 100/0, 80/20, 70/30, 50/50, 30/70, 20/80. Two different rubber powders were used: ground rubber tire (GRT) and ethylene--propylene-diene (EPDM) rubber powder (RP), both of which were prepared by high temperature shear
... ion. In the case of RP, changes in the crosslink density were also considered. The mechanical properties, melt flow index and morphology of the polymer/rubber powder composites were studied. Specimens were either prepared by compression or, for selected compositions, through injection molding. Improved elongations at break were observed for the OREVAC/rubber powder and EVA/rubber powder composites that were attributed to an enhanced interfacial adhesion between the dispersed rubber particles and matrix polymer. Composites with a rubber powder content as high as 70 wt % still showed good processability and elongation at break values greater than 100 %, which are basic requirements of traditional thermoplastic rubbers.