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A rheological method exploiting Cole-Cole plot allows gel quantification in Natural Rubber

Rolere S., Cartault M., Sainte-Beuve J., Bonfils F.. 2017. Polymer Testing, 61 : p. 378-385.

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymertesting.2017.05.043

Raw Natural Rubber (NR) quality, rather variable, is controlled according to international standards (ISO2000, etc.). Despite these standards, better characterization of this complex material is still needed to reduce feedstock waste and energy losses in the manufacturing processes. Twenty-four NR samples were studied. Their gel contents were quantified after dissolution in tetrahydrofuran. The rheological properties of the raw NR samples were measured in double-shear geometry. The Cole-Cole plot of the shear moduli (G¿ = f(G')) was used to graphically calculate an h parameter, described as an indicator of the crosslink density of a polymer. The total gel of NR was found to clearly influence the rheological properties of the material at low frequency. This study also showed that the microgel of NR accounted for 46¿92% of the total gel, and cannot be neglected when investigating the influence of gel on NR properties.

Mots-clés : latex; caoutchouc; gel (matériau); rhéologie; propriété technologique; propriété physicochimique; propriété mécanique; polymère; hevea brasiliensis

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