We have examined the effects of intense ultrasound on butyl gum and unfilled vulcanizates using proton transverse NMR relaxation, sol extraction, GPC analysis, and glass transition measurements. At 100 deg.C the spin echo decays exhibit three components, due to entangled molecules and network, unentangled sol plus dangling chain ends, and oligomer remnants; two components suffice to describe most vulcanizates. Compared to other rubbers we have studied, all component spin relaxation times are shorter and less sensitive to ultrasound, and the fraction of the short-T2 component is significantly higher. In the gums sonication produces chain scission but no significant crosslinking. In sol extracted from sonicated rubber, the T2 component amplitudes correlate well with the trimodal molecular-weight distribution. In spite of the low glass transition temperatures (near -60 deg.C) even the longest T2 up to 120 deg.C was too short to permit pulsed-gradient diffusion measurements. The low extractable sol fraction at standard ultrasound settings confirms the conclusion that in butyl rubber sonication is less effective for network destruction than in other rubbers.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/avraam_isayev/27/