Formulations of sustainable rubbers and characterization for the use in sports equipments
Kemian tekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Funtional Materials for Global Challenges
Master's Programme in Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability
AbstractThis study was carried out at the Decathlon footwear centre in the elastomer team. The aim of this work was to formulate a sustainable rubber by reducing its environmental impact, taking its $CO_2$ emissions as a reference. A state of the art on new eco-designed materials that could help reduce the compound's CO2 emissions was carried out. The rubber formulations identified were mixed to compare their mechanical properties (abrasion, density, adhesion, rolling resistance, etc.) to determine which formulations were suitable for use in sports equipment. Given the mechanical properties and environmental impact of the different materials, lignin was chosen to develop a sustainable rubber formulation for sports equipment. The formulation had to be adapted to reduce the abrasion of the rubber, which was too high, while maintaining good grip properties. Possible levers for reducing abrasion are the type of lignin filler used, a reduction in the level of lignin incorporated, a different vulcanization system and the use of different elastomers. The most optimal solution was to incorporate 10 phr of lignin filler grade 1 with the standard vulcanization system. Two solutions emerged, one using FSC or PEFC-certified NR and the other using Ravaflex Repro BR and SBR BCA. The first solution reduces the rubber's impact on CO2 by 15%, but still needs to be improved to lower the abrasion value so that it comes close to the target value. The second reduces the rubber's CO2 emissions by 8% and has the properties required for use in sports equipment.
Thesis advisorAndreolli, Julie
rubber formulations, mechanical characterisation of materials, polymers, CO2 impact reduction, sustainability, lignin