The aim of this work is to describe the changes in the properties of ceramifiable silicone rubber-based composites caused by the incorporation of novel alternative minerals in comparison to other popular, widely utilized fillers. TiO2, calcined kaolin and calcium-based minerals mix (CbMix) consisting of CaO (6.26 wt%), CaCO3 (26.18 wt%) and Ca(OH)2 (67.56 wt%) have not been considered as a dispersed phase of ceramifiable silicone composites destined for wire covers yet. Mineral fillers: TiO2 (anatase), mica (phlogopite), CbMix, CaCO3, Al(OH)3, kaolin and calcined kaolin affect the processing and the various properties of silicone rubber-based composites destined for wire covers differently. The properties—flammability, smoke intensity, micromorphology and mechanical durability after ceramification—are assessed by measuring: the kinetics of vulcanization, stress at different levels of elongation, tensile strength and the elongation at break of the materials. Although the curing process of the composites is disturbed by the addition of CbMix, it benefits from an increase in oxygen index value, which reaches 31.4%. What is more, also its flammability parameters measured by cone calorimetry improve, such as the total heat released (THR) reaching 9.3 MJ/m2. Samples containing kaolin and calcined kaolin exhibit the best mechanical properties before ceramification, whereas composites filled with calcium-based powders (CbMix, CaCO3) mechanically display the strongest mineral char after heat treatment, possibly due to a more homogenous micromorphology and the creation of calcium silicates at elevated temperature. Significant amounts of wollastonite, parawollastonite and pseudowollastonite are visible in their structure after ceramification.
Polymer Bulletin – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 24, 2017
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