Researchers from University of Twente developed a plasma treatment for the deposition of a silica layer onto the cord surface for rayon and PET cords
Polymer fibers are a subset of man-made fibers that are widely used in the rubber industry. These fibers are based on synthetic chemicals and add strength and form stability to the elastomer matrix. These fibers are made from: polyamide nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) polyester, phenol-formaldehyde (PF), and polyvinyl chloride fiber (PVC) vinyon. However, in order to achieve the necessary reinforcement, good adhesion is necessary between the polymeric fiber and the matrix.
Now, a team of researchers from University of Twente, in collaboration with Apollo Tyres Global R&D B.V., developed a plasma treatment for the deposition of a silica layer onto the cord surface for both, rayon and PET cords. The team also studied diverse solutions to add the coupling agent and assessed alternative plasma treatment to the silica coating. The team found that the adhesion achieved by a silica coating (followed by a silane-dip) for rayon was less efficient than latex (RFL)-treated cords. Moreover, the adhesion was also low compared to plasma treatment with a precursor featuring a sulfur-moiety. When the coupling agents was added in the matrix compound, the results were equivalent and independent of the bis-[3-(triethoxysilyl)propyl] tetrasulfide (TESPT) concentration in the elastomer matrix. This suggested that the silane is not restricting influence.
The deposition of silica for PET cords (followed by a type I bath dipping) led to higher adhesion compared to treatment of rayon cords. The team noted significant improvements for plasma activation with water using nitrogen as ionization. The amplification in adhesion force can be attributed to higher fragmentation voltage of nitrogen in comparison to air. The team found that results for rayon were low compared to earlier findings, with low adhesion with water and nitrogen plasma treatment and silane-dipping. The research was published in the journal MDPI Polymers on March 29, 2019.
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