Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol.61, No.5, 833-841, 1996
Predicting Ability of Free-Volume Theory for Solvent Self-Diffusion Coefficients in Rubbers
The effect of solvent size on the diffusion process is studied for various solvents with natural rubber and polybutadiene in terms of the free-volume theory. The importance of energy effects on the diffusion of penetrants in rubbers is examined. The critical molar volume of the polymer jumping unit is correlated with its glass transition temperature over the range 172 K to 305 K. The correlation shows a linear relationship between these two properties and can be used to predict one of the most sensitive free-volume parameters. Using this parameter in conjunction with the Vrentas-Duda free-volume theory, solvent self-diffusion coefficients in rubbers are then predicted over wide ranges of concentration and temperature. For all the systems, the predictions are comparable with experimental data.