Optimization of mechanical properties of polypropylene (PP)/ethylene-propylene-diene monomer rubber (EPDM)/scrap rubber tire (SRT) ternary mixtures under tensile and impact using the response surface methodology (RSM)

The response surface methodology (RSM) is a collection of statistical and mathematical techniques for developing, improving and optimizing processes. In this study, RSM technique was applied to the investigation of the mechanical behavior of different PP/EPDM/SRT ternary mixtures. After appropriate processing in a co-rotating twin extruder and injection molding, the mechanical properties, such as tensile strength and impact strength, were determined and used as response variables. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used for investigating the morphology of the different blends and to interpret the results. With specific statistical tools, a minimum number of experiments allowed the response surface model to be developed and the concentrations of the components to be optimized according to the mechanical performance. High values of impact strength were reached (>80 J.m-1) when the PP/EPDM/SRT mixture had a EPDM/SRT ratio of around 25%.

RSM; PP; scrap rubber tire

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