Nitrile rubber (NBR) nanocomposites with different contents of synthetic Somasif ME-100 mica (sodium-fluorohectorite) were obtained by melt compounding using a Semi Efficient curing system. The effect of curing on the nanocomposties was evaluated through rheometric properties, crosslink density (CLD) and mechanical properties. The ME-100 mica dispersion in NBR was assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the Payne effect and thermodynamic properties (ΔS and ΔG). Both the curing parameters and CLD pointd out that the addition of ME-100 directly affects crosslinks formation. It could also be observed that the nanofiller dispersion state is complex, exhibiting exfoliated and agglomerated structures (TEM); besides, agglomerations rose linearly as the nanofiller was added (the Payne effect). Notwithstanding these findings, and on the basis of unfilled formulations, NBR20 nanocomposite showed improvement in mechanical properties (tensile and tear strengths) which suggests that ME-100 might be considered a semi-reinforcing filler.
crosslink density; fluoromica; mechanical properties; nitrile rubber; synthetic mica