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Effect of sol-gel derived in situ silica on the morphology and mechanical behavior of natural rubber and acrylonitrile butadiene rubber blends

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Silica particles were generated and grown in situ by sol-gel method into rubber blends comprised of natural rubber (NR) and acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) at various blend ratios. Silica formed into rubber matrix was amorphous in nature. Amount of in situ silica increased with increase in natural rubber proportion in the blends during the sol-gel process. Morphology studies showed that the generated in situ silica were nanoparticles of different shapes and sizes mostly grown into the NR phase of the blends. In situ silica filled NR/NBR blend composites showed improvement in the mechanical and dynamic mechanical behaviors in comparison to those of the unfilled and externally filled NR/ NBR blend composites. For the NR/NBR blend at 40/60 composition, in particular, the improvement was appreciable where size and dispersion of the silica particles into the rubber matrix were found to be more uniform. Dynamic mechanical analysis revealed a strong rubber-in situ silica interaction as indicated by a positive shift of the glass transition temperature of both the rubber phases in the blends.


  • In situ silica, Reinforcement, Rubber blend, Rubber-filler interaction, Sol-gel