Macroscopic and Microscopic Analyses of Hydrophobic Modification of Rubbers with Silica Nanoparticles

Y Ye and C Zhang and M Tian and ZJ Du and JG Mi, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 119, 20957-20966 (2015).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b05865

The wettability of rubbers with silica nanoparticle modification was investigated with theory and experiment. A simple coating technology was applied to generate the superhydrophobic styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR). Silica nanoparticles were covalently bonded with gamma-methacryloxy propyl trimethoxysilane (gamma-MPTMS), which was employed to improve coating durability through the thiol-ene click reaction with the SBR matrix. The contact angles of water droplets on the net and modified surfaces were then measured. The application of a three-dimensional density functional theory approach to predict the wetting contact angles showed that the chemical composition, chain conformation, and micro/nanostructure have different contributions to the hydrophobic behaviors. The theoretically predicted contact angles were partly validated by their experimental counterparts.

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