Vol 7, No 4 (2016) > Chemical Engineering >

Degradation Characteristics of Vulcanized Natural Rubber by Dimethyl Ether through Filler and Plasticizer Composition Variations

Asep Handaya Saputra, Johan Johan, Tuti Indah Sari, Adi Cifriadi, Dadi R. Maspanger, Setijo Bismo


Abstract: Dimethyl ether (DME) is a
type of renewable energy that could replace the use of fossil fuel in
Indonesia. Nevertheless, DME can cause degradation of rubber-based materials. Therefore,
the performance of rubber that has been degraded by DME must be improved. This
research study aims are to determine the degradation characteristics of modified vulcanized natural
rubber in a DME environment. The effect of the filler (carbon black) and plasticizer (minarex-B)
components of vulcanized natural rubber was examined. The vulcanized rubber samples were comprised
of 10, 30, and 60
parts per hundred rubbers (phr) of filler and 0, 10 and 20 phr of plasticizer. The degradation of the mass
and mechanical properties of the rubber were investigated. Degradation
testing was conducted by immersing the samples inside a pressure vessel that was filled with the liquid phase of DME. The results indicate
that the increasing of the filler composition reduces the impact of
degradation, while the increasing of the plasticizer composition has the opposite effect. The plasticizer is needed
to distribute the filler to all parts of the rubber. Consequently, a filler
composition of 30 phr and a plasticizer composition of 10 phr provide a vulcanized
natural rubber with optional protection against the degradation caused by DME. The characteristics of natural rubber, as measured by Fourier
Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy
(FTIR) proved that DME does not damage the structure of the polymer chains, although DME may react with some ingredients in the rubber that have a similar polarity.
Keywords: Degradation; Dimethyl ether; Filler; Natural rubber; Plasticizer

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