Incorporation of approximately 30 phr Ethylene–Propylene–Diene rubber (EPDM) into natural rubber (NR)/butadiene rubber (BR) is a means to achieve non-staining ozone resistance for tire sidewall applications. However, due to incompatibility of the elastomers and heterogeneous filler distribution in each of the rubber phases, the mechanical properties deteriorate. In the present work, maleic-anhydride modified EPM (MAH-EPM) is added as a compatibilising agent between NR/BR and EPDM. The addition of 5 phr of MAH-EPM results in significantly improved tensile and tear strength when compared to a straight NR/BR/EPDM blend. These improvements can mainly be attributed to a compatibilising effect of MAH-EPM, resulting in a more homogeneous phase distribution, but in particular a much better homogeneous carbon black distribution over the different rubber phases. In addition, ionic crosslinks are introduced into the blends by interaction of MAH-EPM with zinc oxide
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