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Customised Nanocomposites Based on Rubber Matrices for High Demand Applications


The complexity of including new factors in an already very complex system rubber matrix-carbon black filler-mixing and vulcanisation conditions has caused that recent revolutionary innovations in the plastic industry, such as the use of nano-particles to improve stiffness, strength, abrasion resistance, barrier effect and fire behaviour have not yet been applied in the rubber industry.

With this in mind, the project NANORUB intends precisely to develop an industrial technology for the production of nanoclay-based (montmorillonite) rubber composites by the following steps:
-Development of a production-exfoliation process for montmorillonite based on organoammonium or phosphonium salts with the organic moiety being as compatible as possible with the rubber matrix.
-Surface treatment of the nanoparticles to impede clustering and to promote adhesion with the rubber matrix, using to that purpose peroxydic macroradicals, functionalised liquid rubber and organosilanes.
-Optimisation of the formulation, processing and vulcanisation conditions in order to obtain a nanoclay-rubber composite material with at least 3 times better abrasion resistance, 50% improved stiffness, 30% improved strength and 20% delayed ignition with respect to the equivalent reference non-nanoclay reinforced product. Price should not exceed the reference by more than 40%.
-Use of the developed materials in the production of prototypes of improved moulded parts, rubber bearings, rubber cords and conveyor belts.

The consortium brings together 8 SMEs from 6 countries, namely a nanoparticle producer, a specialty chemicals manufacturer, a mixer-compounder, a machinery constructor and 4 end-users producing moulded parts, rubber bearings, rubber cords and conveyor belts, supported by 4 research organisations in the fields of rubber and plastic processing including nanocomposites, machinery design, rubber materials formulation-testing and interfacial modification in organic-inorganic systems.

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San anton, 3
Zudaire (navarra)

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Partecipanti (13)