Rice husk ash was incorporated into natural rubber (NR) using a laboratory size two-roll mill. A conventional vulcanization system (CV) was chosen and cure studies were carried out on a TI-100 Curometer. The torque curves were obtained at 150, 160, 170, and 180 °C. The overall rate and the apparent activation energy for the vulcanization process were calculated for each compound assuming that vulcanization follows first-order kinetics. For the purpose of comparison, two commercial fillers, precipitated silica (Zeosil-175) and carbon black (N762), were also used. In comparison to the other fillers used, the addition of rice husk ash to NR compounds increased the crosslinking rate and lowered the apparent activation energy in a more marked way.
Natural rubber; vulcanization; kinetics; rice husk ash