Devulcanization and recycling of waste automotive EPDM rubber powder by using shearing action and chemical additive
2017-09-15T09:19:56Z (GMT) by
In automotive applications, ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM) is used to manufacture various components and therefore recycling scrap rubber is a major issue. The primary aim of this study was to develop a new method for devulcanizing waste automotive EPDM rubber powder by using shearing action and chemical additive and recycle the devulcanized powder. A semi-industrial twin screw extruder with a shearing action and reactor along with 2-mercaptobenzothiazole-disulfide (MBTS) chemical were used to devulcanize the waste powder at two different feed screw speeds and main rotor speeds at a constant temperature of 220°C. To recycle the devulcanized powder, different amounts of the devulcanized powder were mixed with a commercial EPDM-based automotive rubber strips compound to produce blends. The blends, commercial compound and devulcanized powder were cured with a semi-efficient (SEV) vulcanization system and their viscosity, cure and mechanical properties measured. For the blends, the Mooney viscosity was unchanged with 40 wt%, crosslink density with 20 wt%, tensile strength and elongation at break with 10 wt%, and compression set with 20 wt% of the devulcanized powder. Interestingly, the hardness benefitted from 50 wt% of the devulcanized powder in the blends. The scorch and optimum cure times shortened and the cure rate index rose when the loading of the devulcanized powder in the blends was raised. This new method offered a major new route for devulcanizing and recycling the waste powder.