Swelling and mechanical properties of solution-crosslinked poly(isobutylene) gels


MACROMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS, vol.203, no.4, pp.663-672, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


We prepared several series of poly(isobutylene) (PIB) gels starting from butyl rubber in dilute toluene solutions using sulfur monochloride as a crosslinking agent. Solution and suspension-crosslinking techniques were used for the preparation of PIB gels in the form of rods, membranes, and beads in the size range or 1 to 3 mm. The gels were subjected to dynamic and equilibrium swelling measurements in toluene and cyclohexane as well as to the elasticity tests. Depending on the amounts of sulfur monochloride and butyl rubber in the crosslinking solution, PIB gels with different swelling capacities and elastic moduli were synthesized. The swelling ratio of the gels first increased rapidly with increasing swelling time but then decreased until an equilibrium was obtained. This unusual swelling behavior was accompanied with an increase of the elastic moduli of the gels during the swelling process. The results were explained with the post-crosslinking reactions taking place during the swelling process of PIB gels. By using the theory of equilibrium swelling, the number of segments in the network chains and the polymer-solvent interaction parameters were calculated for PIB gels prepared under various reaction conditions.