Description: The thermal degradation of a commercial, stabilized, unfilled neoprene (chloroprene) rubber was investigated at temperatures up to 140 C. The degradation of this material is dominated by oxidation rather than dehydrochlorination. Important heterogeneous oxidation effects were observed at the various temperatures investigated using infrared micro-spectroscopy and modulus profiling. Intensive degradation-related spectral changes in the IR occurred in the conjugated carbonyl and hydroxyl regions. Quantitative analysis revealed some differences in the development of the IR oxidation profiles, particularly towards the sample surface. These chemical degradation profiles were compared with modulus profiles (mechanical properties). It is concluded that the profile development is fundamentally described by a diffusion-limited autoxidation mechanism. Oxygen consumption measurements showed that the oxidation rates display non-Arrhenius behavior (curvature) at low temperatures. The current results, when compared to those of a previously studied, clay-filled commercial neoprene formulation, indicate that the clay filler acts as an antioxidant, but only at low temperatures.
Date: July 1, 1999
Creator: Celina, M.; Wise, J.; Ottesen, D.K.; Gillen, K.T. & Clough, R.L.
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