Location: Plant Polymer ResearchTitle: Toughness of natural rubber composites reinforced with hydrolyzed and modified wheat gluten aggregates Author
Submitted to: Journal of Polymers and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2015
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/4493076
Citation: Jong, L. 2015. Toughness of natural rubber composites reinforced with hydrolyzed and modified wheat gluten aggregates. Journal of Polymers and the Environment. 23(4):541-550. Interpretive Summary: Toughness is an important application requirement for rubber products. Natural rubber composites are used in many applications such as gaskets, machine belts, seals, and tires. In the current development, wheat protein was dissociated in water and processed to produce submicron particles in the order of 500 nanometers. The particles were also modified and used to improve the toughness of natural rubber. The rubber composites enhanced with these wheat protein particles showed an improvement in strength compared to natural rubber. The toughness of these rubber composites also exceeds that of natural rubber enhanced with larger amount of carbon black. This research is aiming to develop new markets for wheat related biomaterials and to benefit the consumers, processors, and growers.
Technical Abstract: The toughness of natural rubber can be improved by using fillers for various rubber applications. Dry wheat gluten is a protein from wheat flour and is sufficiently rigid for rubber reinforcement. The wheat gluten was hydrolyzed to reduce its particle size and microfluidized to reduce and homogenize the particle size and size distribution. The processed wheat gluten particles with a size of ~500 nm were used to improve the toughness of natural rubber. The crosslinked rubber composites showed an improvement in moduli, tensile strength and toughness compared to natural rubber. For the composites prepared under the alkali condition, the modified particles increased the moduli in the larger strain region. For the composites prepared under the acidic condition, the modified particles improved the tensile strength, elongation, and toughness. The reinforced composites were characterized with stress-strain, dynamic frequency sweep, and swelling experiments to understand their structure-properties.