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“Innovations in Cure Meter and Mooney Viscometer Technology” : Page 1
The Oscillating Disk Rheometer (ODR), the Moving Die Rheometer (MDR), and the Mooney Viscometer are undoubtedly the most widely used processability predicting test instruments in the rubber industry. Considering the importance of these tests, it is not surprising that they have received continuing technical examination and improvement over the years.
This paper examines the remaining performance shortcomings of these devices, and demonstrates technical solutions that enhance overall performance.
Utilizing this new knowledge, combined with a mechanical design which is common to all three devices, a new universal testing instrument is proposed. The proposed instrument can be readily converted to either an ODR, and MDR or a Mooney viscometer using interchangeable modules. The paper examines in detail the “three instruments in one” concept.
The Mooney shearing disk viscometer and Oscillating Disk Rheometer, ODR, are two rubber test instruments found in virtually all rubber labs throughout the world.
Their development started when Melvin Mooney developed the Mooney viscometer [1] to measure the processing characteristics of rubber. It measures the viscosity of the rubber sample by measuring the torque required to rotate an embedded rotor.
In the late 50s and early 60s, there was a flurry of activity directed at the development of instrumentation to continuously monitor the vulcanization process. A number of adaptations were reported:
  1. The Agfa, Bayer, or Bayer—Frank Vulkameter [2,3]
  2. The Wallace—Shawbury Curemeter [4,5]
  3. The Firestone CEPAR Apparatus [6]
  4. The Oscillating Disk Rheometer (ODR) [7]
  5. Viscurometer [8].
As an interesting aside, the ASTM sponsored a Symposium in 1964 on "Continuous Measurement of the Cure Properties of Rubber", at which papers were presented on all of these new instrument developments [9].
More recently, the Moving Die Rheometer [10] (MDR) has been developed to overcome some of the performance limitations of the ODR.
This machine has no embedded rotor but captures the sample between two heated dies. One die is oscillated through a small arc and the reaction torque generated by the sample is measured by the other die member [11].
The sample was maintained at a curing temperature and pressure and the torque measured as the sample stiffened while curing proceeded. This yielded the classical rheometer curve of torque versus time. These test procedures have met the test of time and are still essential for rubber process control.
At the end of this flurry of innovation, the Monsanto ODR became the dominant, commercially available instrument for determining the curing characteristics of rubber. Unlike the Mooney, the embedded rotor of the ODR was oscillated through a small arc and the torque determined.
Purpose of Paper
The intent of this article is to describe a new rubber test instrument, the XDR® ... a “three—instruments—in—one” design, and highlight the features which were incorporated into the XDR® to overcome the performance limitation of rubber processing test instruments, i.e., curemeters and shearing disk viscometers.
The experimental data presented in this paper was obtained on the formulations in Table 1. The stocks were Banbury mixed with the curatives added on a mill according to ASTM procedures.
The composition of the “hard rubber” compound referred to in Section 3, Figure 5 could not be disclosed.
Table 1: Formulations
Ingredient SBR
SBR 1606 162.00  
NR, SMR, CV60   100.00
Carbon Black, N—330   50.00
Napthenic Oil   5.00
Zinc Oxide 4.00 5.00
Stearic Acid 2.00 2.00
Sulfur 1.75 2.40
TBBS 1.00 0.60
TMTD   0.10
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Copyright © 2006 CCSi, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Published February, 2006
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