Green tire production necessarily uses silane coupling agent, i.e., bis [3-(triethoxysilyl) propyl] tetrasulfide (TESPT), in order to improve interfacial interaction between silica and rubber. In this work, glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) was used as an alternative coupling agent to supersede the traditional silane coupling agent. The results demonstrated that GMA was capable of functioning in a similar manner to TESPT with the superiority in zero-alcohol emission. Tin (II) chloride (SnCl2) was required to enhance GMA coupling efficiency leading to enhanced silica dispersion, improved silica-rubber interaction and reduced filler network. Although the GMA/SnCl2 treated system showed slightly lower mechanical properties and higher rolling resistance than the TESPT treated system, probably due to the lack of sulfur donor capability, it provided sufficiently high mechanical properties for most engineering applications together with other benefits including improved processability, higher wet grip index and, most importantly, a brighter side in terms of environmental friendliness.
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