Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The theory of rubber elasticity relates the elastic modulus of unfilled amorphous rubber to the concentration of elastically effective strands. A theoretical relation between this concentration and the concentrations of potential entanglements, random tetrafunctional crosslinks, and chain ends was proposed recently. In the present work, the new relation was combined with the theory of rubber elasticity and verified experimentally. Polydimethylsiloxane samples were cured by 60Co irradiation and were extensively extracted to determine gel fraction, which was used to calculate concentrations of crosslinking and scission due to irradiation. Equilibrium modulus values determined from creep tests were in excellent agreement with those calculated using the new relation if the average spacing between potential entanglements is 116 (CH3)2SiO units. Thus, in typical commercial silicone rubbers, the contribution to the modulus from trapped entanglements is greater than the direct contribution from crosslinks. The new relation allows the calculation of crosslink concentrations from modulus measurements on other unfilled rubbers once the potential entanglement spacing of the polymer is determined.
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