Abstract: The environmental impact of rubber waste can be reduced by extending the lifetime of rubber products. It can be achieved by developing graphene/rubber nanocomposites with good abrasion resistance. In this paper, we investigated how rubber mixing technologies influence the mechanical properties of rubber. We added various amounts (0, 1, 5 and 10 phr) of graphite and graphene to rubber mixtures using a two-roll mill, an internal mixer, a single- and a twin-screw extruder. We performed tensile, tear strength and Shore A hardness tests on the vulcanisates and analysed their fracture surfaces with a scanning electron microscope. Our results show that graphene had a better reinforcing effect than graphite. Rubber mixing via extrusion may contribute to more severe polymer degradation, though their reproducibility is better than that achieved on a two-roll mill or in an internal mixer.
Keywords: Elastomer, Graphite, Graphene, Nanocomposite