In this work, blends of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber and chlorobutyl rubber were reinforced with organo-modified layered silicate (nanoclay) to enhance their performance in radiation as well as hydrocarbons environments. The mechanical properties of the nanocomposites increased (up to 57%) and solvent transport coefficients decreased (by 30%) with increasing nanoclay content. The enhancement in properties was attributed to the dispersion of nanoclay platelets in the ethylene propylene diene monomer–chlorobutyl rubber blends and the chemical interaction between nanoclay and the polymer which were confirmed by morphological and spectroscopic analysis, respectively. The effect of nanofiller content on the mechanical properties, solvent uptake and thermal degradation of blends exposed to gamma radiation was investigated by irradiating the nanocomposites with gamma rays for cumulative doses of 0.5, 1 and 2 MGy. The ethylene propylene diene monomer–chlorobutyl rubber nanocomposites with 5 phr nanoclay had the best retention of mechanical properties and solvent sorption coefficients on exposure to radiation. Depending on the dose of cumulative radiation exposure, chain scission and/or crosslinking occurred in the nanocomposites, resulting in varying degrees of changes in properties.
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N. Ashok, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and Lawrence, F., “Organo-modified layered silicate nanocomposites of EPDM–chlorobutyl rubber blends for enhanced performance in γ radiation and hydrocarbon environment”, Journal of Composite Materials, vol. 52, pp. 3219-3231, 2018.