Investigating the Possibilities of Using a Handheld FTIR-Equipment to Characterize Thermal Aging of Rubbers

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Skolan för kemi, bioteknologi och hälsa (CBH)

Sammanfattning: Element Materials Technology in Linköping is an independent material testing company that performs testing of materials to several big sectors, such as the Swedish Armed Forces and the aerospace industry. There is of great importance to characterize aging of materials to ensure material performance. Element Materials Technology recently invested in a handheld FTIR equipment and it was of interest to see if this equipment might be an additional analysis technique to characterize aging of rubber materials. A nitrile butadiene rubber and two natural rubbers were thermally aged in 50°C and 70°C for six weeks. The hardness of the rubbers increased when the rubbers were thermally aged. The compression set decreased for the aged samples as well as the tensile strength and the elongation at break. An investigation of possible methods for collecting migrated additives on the rubber surface was performed, using two different solvents and a stationary FTIR equipment. More research needs to be performed to exclude the possibility that the solvents affect the material. Universal Attenuated Total Reflectance – Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, UATR-FTIR onto the rubber surface showed in some cases changes in the spectrums between unaged and aged samples. However, it could not be concluded weather the changes occurred due to migrating additives or due to changes in the backbone polymer. Four interfaces to the handheld FTIR equipment were investigated and an ATR interface gave best results. An analysis method was developed for the handheld FTIR equipment and the spectrums from the handheld FTIR were similar to spectrums from UATR-FTIR (stationary). It could be concluded from Micro Chamber analysis that volatile organic matters were emitted at elevated temperature. Thermogravimetric analysis could detect the relative composition of the rubbers. Further it could be concluded that the mechanical properties were affected by the thermal treatment. This study could however not establish a correlation between FTIR signals and the results seen from the other analysis. The fact that differences could be detected in the FTIR spectrums before and after aging could indicate that the FTIR analysis technique can possibly be used as an analysis method. However, a more thoroughly investigation needs to be performed before using this technique.

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