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Joint Reuse of Post-consumer Polyolefines and Ground Tire Rubber for Thermoplastic Elastomers Production. Mechanical Performance, Thermal and Radiation Stability

Olga Grigoryeva1, Olga Starostenko1, Alexander Fainleib1, Gonzalo Martínez-Barrera2, Jean-Marc Saiter3 and Boulos Youssef3, 4
1Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine 48, Kharkivske shose, 02160 Kyiv, Ukraine; 2Laboratory of Research and Development of Advanced Materials (LIDMA), College of Chemistry, Autonomous University of State of Mexico, Toluca, Mexico, CP 50000 Mexico 3Advanced Mechanics and Materials Engineering (AMME) International Laboratory, LECAP, EA.4528, Institut des Matériaux de Rouen, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Rouen, 76801 Saint Etienne du Rouvray Cedex, France 4Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Rouen (INSA), BP 08, 76801 Saint Etienne du Rouvray Cedex, France
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The effect of the irradiation (-rays or electron beam) on structure-property relationships for the high performance thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) obtained as a result of dynamic vulcanization of the blends of recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE), ethylene/propylene/diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, and ground tire rubber (GTR, pre-treated with Bitumen), has been investigated. Bitumen was used as a multifunctional agent providing partial devulcanization of GTR (during GTR pre-treatment) as plasticiser and to improve adhesion between the GTR particles and surrounding thermoplastic matrix. The structure-property relationships of individual components, initial TPEs and TPEs irradiated by various doses of -rays or e-beam were studied using Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Optical Microscopy technique, Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC), Elementary Analysis methods, mechanical testing, etc. It was established that irradiation treatment of the studied TPEs provided significant increasing in gel fraction content. Nevertheless, a substantial decrease in gel fraction content was achieved by using -Tocopherol (Vitamin E) as antioxidant in the TPE recipe. It was found that γ-irradiation treatment of HDPE/EPDM/GTR based TPEs resulted in improvement of the tensile properties thereof. A positive effect of antioxidant on tensile properties of the e-beam irradiated TPEs was observed. All the irradiated TPEs exhibited thermal behaviour similar to basic non-irradiated blends in the temperature range up to ~593 K and some improvement of stability against thermal oxidative degradation was fixed for the irradiated samples of different recipes in the temperature range of 593 to 823 K.

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