Background: Polymer reinforced elastomeric composites are recognized as potential
materials and have attracted significant attention due to their outstanding mechanical properties. Most
conventional methods reported in literature for reinforcing resins to the elastomers are not effective in
uniform dispersion of the resins while incorporating into the elastomers, detailed studies are required.
Objective: To Investigate the application of epoxy-benzoxazine (EB) through prepregs to nitrile rubber
(NBR) by a novel co-curing process for enhancing the performance of nitrile rubber. The relative
effect of these resin reinforcements to NBR with non-reinforced NBR compound (NBR-NR) under the
similar conditions has been studied.
Method: DSC, FTIR, and DMA analysis were utilized to study the chemical interactions and network
properties of nitrile rubber with epoxy-benzoxazine resin. Mechanical properties were characterized
for studying the ultimate performance and thermal ageing of reinforced nitrile rubber. TGA analysis
and swelling studies were utilized for studying the thermal stability and solvent resistant properties.
Demonstrated a practical co-curing process to reinforce thermosetting resins through glass prepregs
Results: Epoxy-benzoxazine resins exists in the form of a localized, interpenetrating network structure
in the NBR matrix. This resin reinforced NBR showed lower stiffness, improved cross-link density
when compared to non reinforced NBR. Mechanical properties, thermal stability, swelling studies and
thermal ageing properties were improved for NBR-EB composite over NBR-NR.
Conclusion: Epoxy-benzoxazine resin is effective reinforcement for NBR rubber to enhance the
performance of elastomer. The study has also demonstrated a practical co-curing process to reinforce
thermosetting resins through prepregs with NBR.