Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Vol.8, No.10, 1093-1114, 1994
SURFACE MODIFICATION OF SYNTHETIC VULCANIZED RUBBER
Surface modifications produced by treatments (mainly halogenation) of synthetic vulcanized styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) leading to increased adhesion properties with polyurethane adhesives have been studied. T-peel tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), advancing contact angle measurements, infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to analyze the nature of surface modifications produced in the rubber. Although some surface heterogeneities were created, physical treatments (ultrasonic cleaning, solvent wiping, abrasion) did not noticeably increase the adhesion strength because certain abhesive substances (e.g. zinc stearate, paraffin wax) cannot be removed from the rubber surface by such treatments. Chemical treatment (chlorination) was carried out using ethyl acetate solutions of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCI) (1,3,5-trichloro-1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-trione). Chlorination of SBR with trichloroisocyanuric acid produced a significant improvement in T-peel strength, due to the contribution of mechanical (surface roughness, microcracks), thermodynamical (increase of polar contribution to the surface energy) and chemical (removal of abhesive substances, creation of polar groups) rubber surface modifications. The strong adhesion between the chlorinated SBR surface and the polyurethane adhesive was due to the presence of oxidized species of >C=O, -C-OH and -COR type. Chlorination of SBR is a fast reaction which needs only a small concentration of chlorination agent (< 1 wt% TCI/ethyl acetate) to produce high adhesion levels. An increased amount of TCI facilitated the chlorination reaction progressing from the exterior to the internal rubber bulk; however, although a thicker layer of chlorinated rubber created no further increase in adhesion strength was obtained.