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1- Objective

To determine the cure properties of rubber using moving die rheometer.

2- Introduction
Moving Die Rheometer
Moving die rheometer is a testing equipment used to analyze the cure characteristics of a rubber
compound. It also measures the stiffness of the rubber. It has a pair of dies, the upper die is fixed while
lower die is movable. During the testing, lower die is given an angle of about 0.10 to 30. The oscillation of
the lower die produces a sinusoidal strain and torque which depends on the stiffness of rubber.
Scorch time
In rubber processing, scorch time is referred to the time of onset of curing, indicated as ts. It is obtained
from the graph corresponding to the minimum torque value.
Torque
The measure of force acting on an object to change its rotational motion. For MDR, it is the value
measured by a torque transducer at the peak strain amplitude of the oscillating cycle.
Minimum torque
It is the measure of the stiffness of un-vulcanized specimen at the specified vulcanization temperature.
It is indicated as the lowest point in the vulcanization curve. It is indicated as ML.
Maximum torque
It is the measure of stiffness of the vulcanized specimen at the vulcanized temperature. It is indicated as
the highest point in the vulcanization curve. It is indicated as MH.
Optimum Cure time
The time at which the vulcanization has reached to the desired level of property. It is indicated as topt.
The time is usually taken between 90% (t90) to 95% (t95) curing.
Cure rate index
It is the measure of rate of vulcanization based on difference between optimum vulcanization and
incipient scorch time.

3- Procedure

The MDR was run in the automatic mode. The lower die was given an angle of 10. The temperature
of the MDR was adjusted to 140 0C using computer. The time was adjusted to 20 minutes. It took a
while for MDR to reach that temperature.
About 6 to 8 grams of natural rubber was placed carefully between the dies.
The program was started. The dies closed automatically. A sinusoidal strain was applied by the die
on the rubber sample.

The results were displayed in the form of graph between time and torque.
The procedure was repeated for temperature of 160 0C.

4- Observation and Calculations


For temperature = 140 0C
ML = 8.5 lb-in
MH = 21 lb-in
Ms1= ML + 1 = 8.50 + 1 = 9.50 lb-in
As Ms1 corresponds to ts1 (scorch time), so by using graph, ts1 = 2.5 min (150 sec)
Ms2= ML + 2 = 8.50 + 2 = 10.50 lb-in
As Ms2 corresponds to ts2 (scorch time), so by using graph, ts2 = 3.25 min (195 sec)
For 90 % curing
M90 = 0.90 * (MH ML) + ML
= 0.90 * (21 8.5) + 8.50
= 19.75 lb-in
As M90 corresponds to t90 (optimum cure time), so by using graph, t90 = 4.5 min (270 sec)
Curing rate index = 100/t90-ts1 = 100/(4.50-2.50)= 50
For 95 % curing
M95 = 0.95 * (MH ML) + ML
= 0.95 * (21 8.5) + 8.50
= 20.375 lb-in
As M95 corresponds to t95 (optimum cure time), so by using graph, t95 = 4.75 min (285 sec)
Cure rate index = 100/t95-ts2 = 100/(4.75-3.25) = 66.67

For temperature= 160 0C


ML= 7.50 lb-in
MH= 19.5 lb-in
Ms1= ML + 1 = 7.50 + 1 = 8.50 lb-in
As Ms1 corresponds to ts1 (scorch time), so by using graph, ts1 = 1.20 min (72 sec)

Ms2 =ML + 2 = 7.50 + 2 = 9.50 lb-in


As Ms2 corresponds to ts2 (scorch time), so by using graph, ts2 = 1.40 min (84 sec)
For 90 % curing
M90 = 0.90 * (MH ML) + ML
= 0.90 * (19.5 7.50) + 7.50
= 18.5 lb-in
As M90 corresponds to t90 (optimum cure time), so by using graph, t90 = 2 min (120 sec)
Curing rate index = 100/t90-ts1 = 100/(2.00-1.20)= 125
For 95 % curing
M95 = 0.95 * (MH ML) + ML
= 0.95 * (19.5 7.50) + 7.50
= 18.90 lb-in
As M95 corresponds to t95 (optimum cure time), so by using graph, t95 = 2.25 min (135 sec)
Curing rate index = 100/t95-ts2 = 100/(2.25-1.40)= 117.6
Properties measured
ML
MH
M90
M95
ts1
ts2
t90
t95
Cure rate index (90%)
Cure rate index (95%)
Table 1 Results of Testing

Temp (140 0C)


8.50
21.00
19.75
20.375
2.50
3.25
4.50
4.75
50.00
66.67

Temp (160 0C)


7.50
19.50
18.50
18.90
1.20
1.40
2.00
2.25
125.00
117.60

5- Discussion

The very first phase in the graph is processing safety phase. It represents the viscous behavior of
compound showing the processability.
The second phase is the curing phase in which crosslinking develops. The more the crosslinking
develops, the graph shows an increasing trend and vice versa. It has been observed that the graphs
have showed a slightly decreasing trend after curing. The reason is that the level of crosslinking has
decreased.
The maximum value of torque obtained is related to:
1. The final level of crosslinking.
2. The quality of polymer.
Curing rate index is greater for 160 0C than 140 0C. The greater the temperature, the higher the
temperature, higher is the cure rate, due to higher availability of energy.

6- References
ASTM D 5289-95
ASTM D 1566-00

An Introduction to Rubber Technology by Andrew Cielislki


Journal of Applied Polymer Science Volume 50 issue 5 1993 Characterization of Network Structure of
Rubber Vulcanizate by MonsantoMoving Die Rheometer (MDR 2000)