Thermogravimetric analysis coupled to Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (TG/FT-IR) is a very popular technique for rubbers characterization. It involves analyses of the base polymer and additives. Ethylene–propylene–diene (EPDM) rubbers are frequently investigated by TG/FT-IR; however, the focus has been the degradation temperature range of the polymer. In this study, unvulcanized and vulcanized EPDM rubber and its additives were investigated by TG/FT-IR, without solvent extraction, and in a wide temperature range. Initially, the additives were individually characterized. TG/FT-IR identified the characteristic groups of all the additives analyzed and distinguished them from each other. Afterwards, unvulcanized and vulcanized EPDM rubbers were investigated without prior extraction.TG/FT-IR detected absorptions due to the additives tetramethylthiuram monosulfide and 2-mercaptobenzothiazole. Both of these sulfur-containing additives were present in the EPDM formulation at concentrations of 0.7 phr (0.63 wt %). The TG/FT-IR technique had some limitations, because not all the additives in EPDM rubber were detected. Paraffin oil, stearic acid and 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,2-dihydroquinoline functional groups were not observed in either the unvulcanized or vulcanized EPDM. Nevertheless, in addition to the ability of this method to detect sulfur-containing groups, the lack of a pre-extraction reduces the time and effort required for additive analysis in rubbers.
EPDM; additives; characterization; TG/FT-IR; TMTM; MBT