An investigation into the network structures of eThylene propylene terpolymer elastomers

  • Roger E. Melley

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A series of ethylene propylene terpolymer vulcanizates, prepared by varying termonomer type, cure system, cure time and cure temperature, are characterized by determining the number and type of cross-links present. The
termonomers used represent the types currently available in commercial quantities. Characterization is carried out by measuring the C1 constant of the Mooney Rivlin Saunders equation before and after treatment with the chemical probes propane-2-thiol/piperidine and n-hexane thiol/piperidine, thus making it possible to calculate the relative proportions of mono-sulphidic, di-sulphidic and poly- sulphidic cross-links. The cure systems used included both sulphur and peroxide formulations. Specific physical properties are determined for each network and an attempt is made to correlate observed changes in these with variations in network structure. A survey of the economics of each formulation
based on a calculated efficiency parameter for each cure system is included.
Values of C1 are calculated from compression modulus data after the reliability of the technique when used with ethylene propylene terpolymers had been established. This is carried out by comparing values from both compression and extension stress strain measurements for natural rubber vulcanizates and by assessing the effects of sample dimensions and the degree of swelling. The technique of compression modulus is much more widely applicable than previously thought.
The basic structure of an ethylene propylene terpolymer network appears to be independent of the type of cure system used ( sulphur based systems only), the
proportions of constituent cross-links being nearly constant.
Date of AwardSept 1972
Original languageEnglish


  • network structures
  • ethylene propylene terpolymer elastomers

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