English Abstract
Evaluation of Mechanical Properties of Carbon Black Reinforced Natural Rubber
by Atomic Force Microscopy

Hideyuki NUKAGA
Hiroyuki WATABE
Toshio NISHI
Department of Organic and Polymeric Materials, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2006),79(11),509-515 Original Paper in Japanese

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has an advantage of obtaining topographic and mechanical properties at the same time. In analyzing the force-distance curve using Hertz theory, Young's modulus is obtained with nanometer-scale resolution. Furthermore, sample deformation by the force exerted is also estimated from the force-distance curve analysis. We can reconstruct a real topographic image by incorporating apparent height with deformation image. We applied this method for obtaining information on mechanical properties of carbon black reinforced natural rubber. We were able to obtain Young's modulus distribution image together with apparent topographic and reconstructed real topographic images. Then we were able to recognize three regions; rubber, carbon black (or bound rubber) and interfacial regions. Though the existence of these regions had been investigated by pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance, this paper would be the first report on the quantitative evaluation of the interfacial region in real space.

(Received on March 31, 2006)

(Accepted on July 26, 2006)

AFM, Natural Rubber, Carbon Black, Young's Modulus, Force-distance Curve