Toughening of polystyrene using styrene-butadiene rubber (SBRr) waste from the shoe industry


REM, Int. Eng. J.




Abstract The vulcanized rubber waste from the shoe industry causes environmental damage when it is incinerated or inappropriately discarded, turning this into a problem of major concern. Therefore, this study had as the main objective the Polystyrene (PS) toughening using different contents of white vulcanized styrene-butadiene rubber (SBRr) waste produced in the shoe industry. The mixtures were initially prepared in a co-rotational double screw extruder and, thereafter, the extruded granules were injection molded. Analyzed were the rheological, mechanical, thermomechanical properties and morphology of the produced blends. The rheological results showed a viscosity increase as the SBRr concentration was augmented, leading to a higher stability when compared to pure Polystyrene. Verified was an increase of impact resistance of 189% to the blend that contained 50% of SBR rather than pure Polystyrene. On the other hand, the traction properties, hardness Shore D, thermal deflection temperature (HDT) and Vicat softening temperature of the blends tended to decrease when compared to pure Polystyrene results. However, as this SBR waste is made up of a complex mixture of SBR, filler, processing additions, curing agents and stabilizers, it probably acted in the sense of not causing such a drastic reduction of the properties, even using a high concentration of SBRr waste. The morphologies obtained with the SEM method (Scanning Electronic Microscope) were quite different and typical of immiscible blends. The results show that it is possible to obtain a new material with good properties, valuing a discarded industrial waste and avoiding environment aggression.

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