Low Temperature Vulcanisation Technique for CR BIIR Blend for Encapsulation of Oceanic Sensors
Blend of chloroprene rubber (CR) and bromobutyl rubber (BIIR) is used for encapsulation of piezo sensors used in sea water. Conventional encapsulation method of these sensors involving high temperature vulcanisation (HTV) often leads to deterioration of piezo properties due to thermal degradation. This paper reports a low temperature vulcanisation (LTV) technique carried out at 90 °C for CR-BIIR blend using chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) as compatibiliser and LTV system consisting of modified di-o-tolyl guanidine and thiocarbanilide as accelerators and ZnO as curing agent. The conventionally used scavenger MgO was eliminated and only ZnO was used to boost the cure reaction. Properties specific to sonar sensors, namely, acoustic transparency, electrical resistivity, water absorption and physico‑mechanical properties were evaluated besides evaluation of morphology. The results are found to compare better than the conventional blend. Accelerated thermal ageing at 70 °C for 7 days yielded 97 % retention of tensile strength. The technique was implemented in a PZT hydrophone sensor and was successfully underwater tested.
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