The Influence of Plasma Surface Modification on Frictional Property of Natural Rubber Vulcanizates

  • Nah, C. (Polymer Science and Technology, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Kim, D.H. (Polymer Science and Technology, Chemical Engineering, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Mathew, G. (Polymer Science and Technology, Chemical Engineering, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Jeon, D.J. (Polymer Science and Technology, Chemical Engineering, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Jurkowski, B. (Division of Plastic and Rubber Processing, Institute of Material Technology, Poznan, University of Technology) ;
  • Jurkowska, B. (Research and Development Center for the Tire Industry(OBRPO))
  • Published : 2004.03.31


The plasma surface modification of natural rubber vulcanizate was carried out using chlorodifluoromethane in a radio-frequency (13.56 MHz) electrodeless bell type plasma reactor. The modification was qualitatively assessed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The frictional force of the plasma-treated surface was found to decrease with the time of plasma treatment. An increase in the surface polarity, as evidenced by the decrease in contact angle of a sessile drop of water and ethylene glycol on the natural rubber vulcanizate surface, was noted with the plasma modification. In the case of similar plasma treatment of glass surface, only a reduction in the polarity was observed. The use of geometric and harmonic mean methods was found to be useful to evaluate the London dispersive and specific components of surface free energy. Irrespective of the method used for evaluation, an increasing trend in the surface free energy was noted with increasing plasma treatment time. However, the harmonic mean method yielded comparatively higher values of surface free energy than the geometric mean method. The plasma surface modification was found to vary the frictional coefficient by influencing the interfacial, hysteresis and viscous components of friction in opposing dual manners.


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