Tyre rubber has been continuously developed to improve its performance, but the microscopic mechanisms behind these improvements, e.g. by adding nanoparticles to the rubber, are still not fully understood. We study the microscopic polymer dynamics of a rubber nanocomposite system consisting of polymer polybutadiene with 20 volume% of silica nanoparticles with diameters of 100 nm via quasi-elastic scattering experiments using gamma-ray time-domain interferometry. The result shows that the presence of silica nanoparticles caused the inter-chain α-relaxation dynamics to slow down in a shallowly supercooled state suggesting that the presence of the nanoparticles that came in contact with the polymer controlled the timescale of the polymer’s α-relaxation dynamics. Conversely, the presence of nanoparticles less affects the dynamics in a lower temperature region near Tg. It is consistent with the result of the differential scanning calorimetry study showing negligible Tg difference among the pure polymer and the nanocomposite system. It also shows that the quasi-elastic scattering experiment can be used to reveal the polymer dynamics in nanocomposites and is appropriate for characterising their microscopic dynamics for the purpose of improving tyre performance.
- Quasi-elastic scattering
- Time-domain interferometry