Molecular Model for HNBR with Tunable Cross-Link Density

N Molinari and M Khawaja and AP Sutton and AA Mostofi, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 120, 12700-12707 (2016).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b07841

We introduce a chemically inspired, all-atom model of hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) and assess its performance by computing the mass density and glass-transition temperature as a function of cross-link density in the structure. Our HNBR structures are created by a procedure that mimics the real process used to produce HNBR, that is, saturation of the carbon carbon double bonds in NBR, either by hydrogenation or by cross-linking. The atomic interactions are described by the all-atom "Optimized Potentials for Liquid Simulations" (OPLS-AA). In this paper, first, we assess the use of OPLS-AA in our models, especially using NBR bulk properties, and second, we evaluate the validity of the proposed model for HNBR by investigating mass density and glass transition as a function of the tunable cross-link density. Experimental densities are reproduced within 3% for both elastomers, and qualitatively correct trends in the glass-transition temperature as a function of monomer composition and cross-link density are obtained.

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