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Rivet-Inspired Modification Of Aramid Fiber By Decorating With Silica Particles To Enhance The Interfacial Interaction And Mechanical Properties Of Rubber Composites

Yihang Li, Yuzhu Xiong, Qingpo Zhang

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A rivet–inspired method of decorating aramid fiber (AF) with silica particles (SiO2) is proposed to produce SiO2@AF hybrid materials that have largely enhanced interfacial interaction with the rubber matrix. AF was firstly surface-modified with polyacrylic acid (PAA) to obtain PAA–AF, and SiO2 was silanized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane to obtain APES–SiO2. Then, SiO2@AF was prepared by chemically bonding APES–SiO2 onto the surface of PAA–AF in the presence of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC) and 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP). With the incorporation of SiO2@AF into the rubber matrix, SiO2@AF hybrid materials with high surface roughness can play a role as ‘rivets’ to immobilize large numbers of rubber chains on the surface. The tear strength and tensile strength of rubber composite that filling 4 phr SiO2@AF are dramatically increased by 97.8% and 89.3% compared to pure rubber, respectively. Furthermore, SiO2@AF has superiority in enhancing the cutting resistance of rubber composites, in contrast with unmodified AF and SiO2. SiO2@AF is suitable to be applied as a novel reinforcing filler in rubber composites for high performance.