Title: Influence of solvent and drop distance on the formation of ENR/PVC/silica aerogel beads

Authors: N.A. Abdullah; I. Abdullah; R. Othaman

Addresses: School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract: The influence of solvent properties and drop distance were investigated in the preparation of silica-filled epoxidised natural rubber/polyvinyl chloride (ENR/PVC) aerogel beads. The formation of these composite beads was done by dropping polymer solution into a solidifying solution via phase inversion/solvent exchange. The beads were collected and finally dried at 80°C in ambient pressure. FTIR spectroscopy, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were carried out to characterise the samples. Infrared spectroscopy analysis of the composite showed the presence of Si-O-Si and Si-OH bonds as well as hydrogen bonding between organic and inorganic components which enhance compatibility between them. The morphological studies showed a high homogeneity of silica dispersion within the ENR/PVC matrix. Solidifying solution of the 50% v/v water/ethanol was found to be suitable for formation of spherical droplets of ENR/PVC/silica due to the polarity and surface tension of the solution. The height of dropping was also found to have significantly affected the formation of beads by which 20 cm was determined to be the optimum height. Under the established conditions, the mean diameter of the spherical beads was in the range of 2.0-2.5 mm.

Keywords: epoxidised natural rubber; PVC; silica; aerogel beads; polyvinyl chloride; ENR; solvents; drop distance; bead formation; morphology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMATEI.2013.057153

International Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation, 2013 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.269 - 280

Available online: 14 Oct 2013 *

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