Material identification for improving the strength of silica/SBR interface using MD simulations
E Joseph and N Swaminathan and K Kannan, JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR MODELING, 26, 234 (2020).
Comprehensive molecular dynamics simulations are conducted to identify material modifications which can improve strength and reduce hysteresis losses at the nanointerfaces formed between silica, silane coupling agent (SCA) and styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), all of which are important ingredients of green tyres. Improving strength and reducing hysteresis losses at such interfaces are expected to reduce rolling resistance (RR), consequently lowering greenhouse emissions. Various modifications considered in this work include a variety of SBR blends, several SCA and surface occupancies of SCA on the silica surface. To tackle a large number of combinations possible and identify modifications which may improve the nature of the interfaces, a hierarchical computational framework is developed. The reduced sample space of such material modifications may be more amenable to comprehensive and computationally or experimentally expensive studies. It was found that some amino-based SCA in combination with certain blends of SBR can improve the interfaces strength and lower hysteresis losses, when compared to the commonly used bis3-(triethoxysilyl)propyltetrasulfide (TESPT), which is a sulphur- based SCA.
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