Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.57, No.15, 5197-5206, 2018
Terpene-Based Sustainable Elastomers: Vulcanization and Reinforcement Characteristics
Allured by the quest to fabricate sustainable elastomers having tangible applications, the present work reports the study of vulcanization and reinforcement characteristics of several sustainable elastomers derived from beta-myrcene-a naturally occurring "waste" monoterpene from plant. The elastomers were synthesized by the environmentally benign and industrially robust emulsion polymerization method. Conventional elastomer processing techniques were employed for the compounding and vulcanization of the synthesized elastomers. The vulcanization characteristics of the synthesized sustainable elastomers are similar to natural rubber. Polymer microstructure, molecular weight, and type and amount of comonomer influence the curing characteristics and physico-mechanical properties of the elastomer vulcanizates. An attempt has been made to elucidate the plausible network structure of the polymyrcene vulcanizate. Because of wide range of polarity, these sustainable elastomers could also aid in dispersion of functional additives. It is thus envisaged that these terpene-based elastomers could replenish the dearth of sustainable elastomers in the near future.