(19)
(11)EP 2 004 744 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.12.2017 Bulletin 2017/49

(21)Application number: 07755375.8

(22)Date of filing:  12.04.2007
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C08L 15/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2007/009078
(87)International publication number:
WO 2007/120797 (25.10.2007 Gazette  2007/43)

(54)

COMPOSITION INCLUDING MULTIPLE FUNCTIONALIZED POLYMERS

ZUSAMMENSETZUNG MIT MEHREREN FUNKTIONALISIERTEN POLYMEREN

COMPOSITION RENFERMANT DE MULTIPLES POLYMÈRES FONCTIONNALISÉS


(84)Designated Contracting States:
DE ES FR GB IT

(30)Priority: 13.04.2006 US 791806 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
24.12.2008 Bulletin 2008/52

(73)Proprietor: Bridgestone Corporation
Tokyo 104-8340 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • YAN, Yuan-Yong
    Copley, OH 44321 (US)

(74)Representative: Oxley, Robin John George et al
Marks & Clerk LLP 90 Long Acre
London WC2E 9RA
London WC2E 9RA (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 1 113 024
WO-A-2006/030806
US-A1- 2005 176 895
WO-A-2004/111094
WO-A-2006/128158
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION



    [0001] Rubber goods such as tire treads often are made from elastomeric compositions that contain one or more reinforcing materials such as, for example, particulate carbon black and silica; see, e.g., The Vanderbilt Rubber Handbook, 13th ed. (1990), pp. 603-04.

    [0002] Typically, filler(s), elastomeric material(s), and additives are chosen so as to provide a composition from which can be made rubber articles with an acceptable compromise or balance of performance properties such as traction, abrasion resistance, hysteresis, etc. Ensuring that reinforcing filler(s) are well dispersed throughout the elastomeric material(s) both enhances processability and acts to improve physical properties. Dispersion of fillers can be improved by increasing their interaction with the elastomer(s). Examples of efforts of this type include high temperature mixing in the presence of selectively reactive promoters, surface oxidation of compounding materials, surface grafting, and chemical modifications to the terminal ends of the polymers.

    [0003] Chemical modification or functionalization of the polymers to increase interactivity between the polymer and the particulate filler(s) also can counteract the tendency of filler particles to agglomerate. Dissociation of such agglomerates can negatively impact physical properties of articles made from filled compositions; thus, reduction of the tendency of filler particles to agglomerate also is desirable.

    [0004] Use of compositions that employ more than one type of particulate filler is growing. Functionalized polymers, i.e., polymers that include one or more functional groups (typically terminal functionality), interact differently with different fillers. Adequate interactivity often is sought by blending two or more differently functionalized polymers, an that approach assumes that functional groups that interact with a particular filler will exhibit the same or similar interactivity in a mixed filler system. Some have attempted to provide multiple functionalities in a single reaction scheme; see, e.g., U.S. patent publ. no. 2006/0135701 A1 which teaches a sequential functionalization-termination process whereby multiple functional groups can be attached to the same polymer chain.

    [0005] Where an elastomer is made by anionic polymerization techniques, attachment of certain functional groups is difficult due to the fact that carbanions, such as living polymers, are terminated by active hydrogen atoms present in, e.g., primary and secondary amine groups. However, amine functional groups provide desirable interaction with particulate fillers, particularly carbon black, so commercially useful methods of providing living polymers with amine functionality remain desirable. Because interactivity with fillers tends to increase as the number of hydrogens bonded to the amino nitrogen increases, the provision of secondary and primary amine-functionalized polymers is particularly desirable.

    [0006] One procedure for providing amine functionality to anionically initiated polymers is described by K. Ueda et al., "Synthesis of Polymers with Amino End Groups - 3. Reactions of Anionic Living Polymers with α-Halo-ω-aminoalkanes with a Protected Amino Functionality," Macromolecules, 1990, 23, 939-45. Anionic living polystyrene is reacted with an α-halo-ω-aminoalkane followed by de-protection of the trialkylsilyl-protected amine functionality to provide a primary amino-functionalized polystyrene. The academic laboratory conditions employed limit the utility of this procedure, however, a fact recognized by other academic publications; see, e.g., R. Quirk et al., "Anionic Synthesis of ω-Dimethylamino-Functionalized Polymers by Functionalization of Polymeric Organolithiums with 3-Dimethylaminopropyl Chloride," Polym. Int., 1999, 48, 99-108. WO 2004/111094 describes a method of sequentially functionalizing living polymers. First functionalizing compounds react and provide the polymer chains with a first functionality that does not terminate the living termini. This is followed by reaction with a second functionalizing compound which then provides a second functionality to those same chains. The result of the method is described as a mix of non-functionalized chains, chains having the first functionality only, and chains having both the first and second functionalities.
    EP-A-1113024 teaches reaction of a living polymer with a compound having both imine and silane functionality. As a result of the reaction, some polymer chains react with one functionality while other chains react with the other. EP-A-1790666 is directed to a sequential termination process whereby two reactants are added sequentially to a terminally active (living or pseudo-living) polymer so as to provide multiple functionalities on the same chain. WO 2006/128158 describes a post-functionalization reaction of the acidic cation of
    terminal primary or secondary amine functionality with an acid-reactive (basic) compound. US 2005/0176895 A1 relates to a multi-step process whereby (1) a less-than- stoichiometric amount of a polysiloxane is used to couple some polymer chains and (2) the remaining chains are functionalized with a carbonyl-containing compound.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] The appended claims set forth a process for preparing polymers that include differing functional groups.

    [0008] In one aspect, not according to the present invention but included by way of reference is provided a composition that includes first and second functionalized polymers, carbon black particulate filler, and silica particulate filler. The first functionalized polymer includes at least one functional group including at least one nitrogen atom, the second functionalized polymer includes at least one functional group including at least one alkoxysilane moiety, and one of the first and second functionalized polymers is created in the presence of the other. The first type of functional group constitutes from 25 to 50% of the sum of the first and second types of functional groups.

    [0009] In another aspect, not according to the present invention but included by way of reference is provided a composition that includes at least two types of particulate filler. The composition is made by a process that includes providing a composition including living polymer chains; allowing a portion of the chains to react with a first composition so as to provide a first functionalized polymer; and introducing a second compound to the composition and allowing another portion of the chains to react with the second compound so as to provide a second functionalized polymer in the presence of said first functionalized polymer. The first functionalized polymer interacts preferentially with one of the types of particulate filler, and the second functionalized polymer interacts preferentially with another of the types of particulate filler.

    [0010] The method for making a filled composition according to the present invention comprises a) providing a composition comprising carbanionic polymer chains; b) allowing a portion of the chains to react with a first compound so as to provide a first functionalized polymer which is terminally functionalized; c) introducing a second compound to the composition formed in step b) and allowing another portion of the carbanionic chains to react with the second compound so as to provide a second functionalized polymer in the presence of the first functionalized polymer, wherein said first compound leads to amino functionalization and wherein said second compound si a silicate providing (alkoxy)silane functionalization. The first functionalized polymer interacts preferentially with one type of particulate filler, and the second functionalized polymer interacts preferentially with another type of particulate filler.

    [0011] The following detailed description further explains the foregoing aspects and may include other aspects. To assist in understanding that description, certain definitions are provided immediately below, and these are intended to apply throughout unless the surrounding text explicitly indicates a contrary intention:

    "polymer" means the polymerization product of one or more monomers and is inclusive of homo-, co-, ter-, tetra-polymers, etc.;

    "mer" or "mer unit" means that portion of a polymer derived from a single reactant molecule (e.g., ethylene mer has the general formula -CH2CH2-);

    "copolymer" means a polymer that includes mer units derived from two reactants (normally monomers) and is inclusive of random, block, segmented, graft, etc., copolymers;

    "interpolymer" means a polymer that includes mer units derived from at least two reactants (normally monomers) and is inclusive of copolymers, terpolymers, tetrapolymers, and the like;

    "polyene" means a molecule with at least two double bonds located in the longest portion or chain thereof, and specifically includes dienes, trienes, and the like;

    "terminus" means an end of a polymer chain;

    when used as an adjective, "terminal" means that group or moiety which is located at the terminus of a molecule or polymer chain (for example, a terminal amino group would be an amino group that is located at a terminus);

    "drop temperature" means a prescribed upper temperature at which a compound is evacuated from the mixing equipment (e.g., a Banbury mixer) to a mill for being worked into sheets;

    "protected amino group" means an amino group having an amino nitrogen atom bonded to atoms other than hydrogen but capable of being converted to a primary or secondary amino group, with the proviso that the group does not terminate (i.e., react directly with) a carbanion such as a living polymer; and

    "hysteresis" means the difference between the energy applied to deform an article made from an elastomeric compound and the energy released as the article returns to its initial, non-deformed state.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



    [0012] The composition produced according to the method of the present invention includes at least two types of functionalized polymers. One of the functionalized polymers includes a polymeric chain with an amino terminal functional group; the amino functional group can include at least one hydrogen atom bonded to the nitrogen atom, i.e., a primary or secondary amine. Another of the functionalized polymers includes a polymeric chain with an (alkoxy)silane functional group. The first functionalized polymer may constitute from 25 to 50% of the total amount of functionalized polymers. One of the functionalized polymers is prepared in the presence of another of the functionalized polymers.

    [0013] The polymeric chain can be elastomeric and can include mer units that include unsaturation. Such units can be derived from polyenes, particularly dienes and trienes (e.g., myrcene). Illustrative polyenes include C4-C12 dienes, particularly conjugated dienes such as, but not limited to, 1,3-butadiene, isoprene, 1,3-pentadiene, 2,3-dimethyl-1,3-butadiene, and 1,3-hexadiene. Homo- and interpolymers that include just polyene-derived mer units constitute one illustrative type of elastomer.

    [0014] The polymeric chain also can include pendent aromatic groups such as can be provided through incorporation of mer units derived from vinyl aromatics, particularly the C8-C20 vinyl aromatics such as, e.g., styrene, α-methyl styrene, p-methyl styrene, the vinyl toluenes, and the vinyl naphthalenes. When used in conjunction with one or more polyenes, mer units with pendent aromaticity can constitute from 1% to 50% by wt., from 10% to 45% by wt., or from 20% to 35% by wt., of the polymer chain; such interpolymers constitute one exemplary class of polymers. The microstructure of such interpolymers can be random, i.e., the mer units derived from each type of constituent monomer preferably do not form blocks and, instead, are incorporated in a non-repeating, essentially simultaneous manner. Random microstructure can provide particular benefit in certain end use applications such as, e.g., rubber compositions used in the manufacture of tire treads.

    [0015] Exemplary elastomers include poly(butadiene), (poly)isoprene (either natural or synthesized), and interpolymers of butadiene and styrene such as, e.g., copoly(styrene/butadiene) also known as SBR.

    [0016] Polyenes can incorporate into polymeric chains in more than one way. Especially for tire tread applications, controlling this manner of incorporation can be desirable. A polymer chain with an overall 1,2-microstructure, given as a numerical percentage based on total polyene content, of from 10 to 80%, optionally from 25 to 65%, can be desirable for certain end use applications. A polymer that has an overall 1,2-microstructure of no more than 50%, preferably no more than 45%, more preferably no more than 40%, even more preferably no more than 35%, and most preferably no more than 30%, based on total polyene content, is considered to be "substantially linear".

    [0017] The number average molecular weight (Mn) of the polymer typically is such that a quenched sample exhibits a gum Mooney viscosity (ML4 / 100°C) of from 2 to 150, more commonly from 2.5 to 125, even more commonly from 5 to 100, and most commonly from 10 to 75. Exemplary Mn values range from 5000 to 200,000, commonly from 25,000 to 150,000, and typically from 50,000 to 125,000.

    [0018] The foregoing polymers can be made by emulsion polymerization or solution polymerization, with the latter affording greater control with respect to such properties as randomness, microstructure, etc. Solution polymerizations have been performed since about the mid-20th century; the general aspects thereof are known to the ordinarily skilled artisan, but certain aspects are provided here for convenience of reference.

    [0019] Solution polymerization typically involves an initiator. Exemplary initiators include organolithium compounds, particularly alkyllithium compounds. Examples of organolithium initiators include N-lithio-hexamethyleneimine; n-butyllithium; tributyltin lithium; dialkylaminolithium compounds such as dimethylaminolithium, diethylaminolithium, dipropylaminolithium, dibutylaminolithium and the like; dialkylaminoalkyllithium compounds such as diethylaminopropyllithium; and those trialkyl stanyl lithium compounds involving C1-C12, preferably C1-C4, alkyl groups.

    [0020] Multifunctional initiators, i.e., initiators capable of forming polymers with more than one living end, also can be used; however, use of these initiators can result in polymers with different functionalities at each terminus which, in certain circumstances, can present processing challenges, e.g., undesirably high compound Mooney viscosities. Examples of multifunctional initiators include, but are not limited to, 1,4-dilithiobutane, 1,10-dilithiodecane, 1,20-dilithioeicosane, 1,4-dilithiobenzene, 1,4-dilithionaphthalene, 1,10-dilithioanthracene, 1,2-dilithio-1,2-diphenylethane, 1,3,5-trilithiopentane, 1,5,15-trilithioeicosane, 1,3,5-trilithiocyclohexane, 1,3,5,8-tetralithiodecane, 1,5,10,20-tetralithioeicosane, 1,2,4,6-tetralithiocyclohexane, and 4,4'-dilithiobiphenyl.

    [0021] Also useful are the so-called functionalized initiators that become incorporated into the polymer chain, thus providing a functional group at the initiated end of the chain. Examples of such materials include the reaction product of organolithium compounds and, for example, N-containing organic compounds (e.g., substituted aldimines, ketimines, secondary amines, etc.) optionally pre-reacted with a compound such as diisopropenyl benzene. A more detailed description of these materials can be found in, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,153,159 and 5,567,815.

    [0022] Typical solution polymerization solvents include various C5-C12 cyclic and acyclic alkanes as well as their alkylated derivatives, certain liquid aromatic compounds, and mixtures thereof. Solvents that contain active hydrogen atoms can quench anionic polymerization and thus (typically) are avoided.

    [0023] In solution polymerizations, both randomization of the mer units and vinyl content (i.e., 1,2-microstructure) can be increased through inclusion of a coordinator, usually a polar compound, in the polymerization ingredients. Up to 90 or more equivalents of coordinator can be used per equivalent of initiator, with the amount depending on, e.g., the amount of vinyl content desired, the level of non-polyene monomer employed, the reaction temperature, and the nature of the specific coordinator employed. Compounds useful as coordinators include organic compounds having a heteroatom with a non-bonded pair of electrons (e.g., O or N). Examples include dialkyl ethers of mono- and oligo-alkylene glycols; crown ethers; tertiary amines such as tetramethylethylene diamine; THF; THF oligomers; linear and cyclic oligomeric oxolanyl alkanes such as 2,2'-di(tetrahydrofuryl) propane, di-piperidyl ethane, hexamethylphosphoramide, N,N'-dimethylpiperazine, diazabicyclooctane, diethyl ether, tributylamine, and the like. Details of linear and cyclic oligomeric oxolanyl coordinators can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,429,091.

    [0024] The conditions typically employed in solution polymerization are known, although a representative description is provided for the convenience of the reader. The following is based on a batch process, although extending this description to other processes such as semi-batch or continuous is within the capability of the ordinarily skilled artisan.

    [0025] Polymerizations typically begin by charging a blend of monomer(s) and solvent to a suitable reaction vessel, followed by addition of coordinator (if used) and initiator, which often are added as part of a solution or blend; alternatively, monomer(s) and coordinator can be added to the initiator. Anhydrous, anaerobic conditions typically are employed. The reactants can be heated to a temperature of up to 150°C and agitated. After a desired degree of conversion has been reached, the heat source (if used) can be removed. If the reaction vessel is to be reserved solely for polymerizations, the reaction mixture can be removed to a post-polymerization vessel for functionalization and/or quenching.

    [0026] At this point, the reaction mixture commonly is referred to as a "polymer cement" because of its relatively high concentration of polymer, typically at least double the concentrations encountered in the types of lab-scale polymerizations employed by Ueda et al., discussed above. The polymer cement can be considered to be a relatively viscous composition that includes numerous live (carbanion) polymer chains. Functionalization occurs prior to these carbanions being quenched.

    [0027] The description of sequential functionalization that follows uses two steps to provide two functionalized polymers; this teaching can be extended by the ordinarily skilled artisan to cover the provision of more than two functionalized polymers through use of additional steps, use of multiple functionalizing compounds in one or more of the functionalization reactions, and the like.

    [0028] Further, the following description teaches provision of carbon black-interactive functionality first followed by provision of silica-interactive functionality, specifically, reaction with a compound that leads to amino functionalization followed by reaction with a silicate to provide (alkoxy)silane functionalization.

    [0029] In considering order of functionalization, one issue that can have some practical effect or consequence is the tendency of certain functional groups to result in undesired coupling reactions, which can complicate the processing of functionalized polymers. Accordingly, in the following description, first reacting some of the polymer chains with a protected amino group-containing compound can be preferable because this reaction results in a functional group that does not tend to participate in coupling reactions.

    [0030] First functionalization can be effected by introducing to the polymer cement a compound that includes at least one protected amino group. The ordinarily skilled artisan can envision many such compounds, but two broad categories are provided for purpose of illustration.

    [0031] One amino group-containing material includes at least one nucleophilic functionality in addition to a protected amino group; these materials are referred to herein as category A reactants. A convenient nucleophilic group is a halogen atom (preferably Cl, Br, or I), which can react readily with the countercation of the living (carbanion) polymer, typically an alkali metal ion such as Li+. In these materials, the nitrogen atom of the protected amino group can bond to groups that generally are not reactive toward living polymers yet can be removed selectively and completely under conditions that do not degrade such polymers. Examples of such materials include the class of materials known as aza-disilacycloalkanes, particularly those where the ring structure includes 5 or 6 atoms and those where each Si atom is di-substituted; specific examples include 1-(3-halopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane, 1-(3-halopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetraethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane, 1-(3-halopropyl)-2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,6-disilacyclopentane, 1-(3-halopropyl)-2,2,6,6-tetraethyl-1-aza-2,6-disilacyclohexane, 1-(2-haloethyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane, and the like. The halogen atom can be spaced from the amino nitrogen by a C2-C3 alkyl chain, and the alkyl groups attached to the Si atoms can be (independently) C1-C2 alkyl groups. For reasons including cost and commercial availability, a preferred category A reactant is 1-(3-bromopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane. Because of the reactivity of living polymers with nucleophilic moieties such as halogen atoms, the reaction of category A reactants with living polymers can be performed quickly (e.g., ∼15-60 min.) using relatively mild conditions (e.g., ∼25°-75°C and atmospheric or slightly elevated pressures).

    [0032] A living polymer with a protected amino functional group also can be provided by reacting the living polymer with a compound that includes at least one -NR'-C(Z)-portion, e.g., a heterocyclic compound that includes within its ring structure one or more -NR'-C(Z)- units, where Z can be S or O and R' is an alkyl or aryl group; these materials are referred to herein as category B reactants. The size of the ring structure is not believed to be critical, although compounds with 5- through 8-membered rings typically are more readily available. In these compounds, the bond between the substituted nitrogen atom and the carbonyl group tends to open readily in the presence of a carbanion such as a living polymer; this provides a convenient mechanism for introducing a protected amino functional group into a living polymer. Specific examples of category B reactants include N-substituted lactams such as N-methyl-β-propiolactam, N-tert-butyl-β-propiolactam, N-phenyl-p-propiolactam, N-naphthyl-β-propiolactam, N-methyl-ε-caprolactam, N-phenyl-ε-caprolactam, N-vinyl-ε-caprolactam, N-benzyl-ε-caprolactam, N-naphthyl-ε-caprolactam, N-methyl-ω-laurylolactam, N-phenyl-ω-laurylolactam, N-tert-butyl-ω-laurylolactam, N-vinyl-ω-laurylolactam, N-benzyl-ω-laurylolactam, N-methyloctalactam, and the like; pyrrolidinones (often referred to as pyrollidones) such as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-tert-butyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-phenyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-benzyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-naphthyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-methyl-5-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-tert-butyl-5-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-phenyl-5-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, and the like; imidazolidinones such as, e.g., 1,3-dialkyl-2-imidazolidinone; piperidones such as N-methyl-2-piperidone, N-tert-butyl-2-piperidone, N-phenyl-2-piperidone, N-methoxyphenyl-2-piperidone, N-vinyl-2-piperidone, N-benzyl-2-piperidone, N-naphthyl-2-piperidone, and the like; and pyrimidinones such as, e.g., 1,3-dimethyl-3,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2(1H)-pyrimidinone. (Although each of the foregoing examples utilizes O as Z, the corresponding compounds where Z is S also can be mentioned as exemplary materials.)

    [0033] First functionalization also can be effected by introducing to the polymer cement a compound that includes at least one C=N moiety such as, for example, oximes, imines, azines, and hydrazones. Some of these compounds, particularly hydrazones, allow more precise stoichiometric control than category A or B reactants because they do not include sites that can be involved in side reactions.

    [0034] When the foregoing are added to a polymer cement, they react at the location of the anionic portion of the carbanion, typically the ends of the longest polymeric chain. Where a multifunctional initiator is employed during polymerization, reaction with the foregoing types of compounds can occur on each terminus of the polymer.

    [0035] Mixing of a type commonly employed in commercial processes is sufficient to ensure near complete reaction between the living polymer and the compound(s) that provides a protected amino functional group.

    [0036] Because subsequent reaction with another type of compound (so as to provide a second type of functionality) is envisioned, a less-than-stoichiometric amount of the compound(s) that provides a protected amino functional group is used. This leaves some amount of living polymer chains available for further, different functionalization. A less-than-stoichiometric amount can range from anything less than 1.0 to anything more than zero, both based on the amount of available initiating equivalents (i.e., the amount of functionalizing compound used is based on the equivalents of initiator added to the reactor, which may or may not reflect the amount of initiator actually associated with polymer chains). As an example of the foregoing, one mole of a standard organolithium initiator theoretically leads to one mole of living (carbanion) polymer chains, which means that one mole of available sites, typically located at a terminal end of each chain, are available for functionalization and that less than one equivalent of a first functionalizing agent is added or provided. The amount of first functionalizing compound used or added (based on the equivalents of initiator) typically is no more than 0.75 equivalents, more commonly no more than 0.6 equivalents, and most commonly no more than 0.5 equivalents. One useful range of amounts of the first functionalizing compound is from 0.2 to 0.5 equivalents; another is from 0.25 to 0.4 equivalents; and yet another is from 0.3 to 0.35 equivalents. (Because many category A and B reactants include sites that can be involved in side reactions, addition of a particular number of equivalents of these types of first functionalizing compounds does not necessarily result in an identical number of functionalized polymers. Accordingly, addition of 0.32 equivalents of a category A first functionalizing compound might result in, e.g., 0.29-0.31 equivalents of functionalized polymers.)

    [0037] Use of a less-than-stoichiometric amount of the first functionalizing compound leaves a number of live sites, i.e., living (carbanion) polymer chains, available for reaction with a second functionalizing compound. Where the first compound provides functionalization that can interact with one particulate filler such as carbon black, the second functionalizing compound provides functionalization that can interact with another particulate filler such as silica.

    [0038] Based on the numbers and ranges set forth above with respect to the first functionalizing compound relative to equivalents of initiator, one can deduce the remaining amount of living polymer chains. Obviously, to a large extent, these ranges can depend on the ratio of filler materials used. Nevertheless, the numbers and ranges provided here are considered to be representative.

    [0039] To ensure complete functionalization, i.e., to ensure that all available polymer chains are functionalized, an amount of the second functionalizing compound that is more than stoichiometric typically is used. In other words, the sum of equivalents of the first and second functionalizing compounds typically is slightly more than the equivalents of initiator used. (Again, the amount of functionalizing compound used is based on the equivalents of initiator added to the reactor, which does not necessarily reflect the amount of initiator actually associated with polymer chains.)

    [0040] As described above with respect to A reactant materials, certain types of first functionalizing compounds react with the countercation of the carbanion through at least one nucleophilic functionality, e.g., a halogen atom. Each time that this type of reaction occurs, one less polymer chain is available for further functionalization or reaction. While U.S. patent publ. no. 2006/0135701 A1 teaches that multiple functionalization on a polymer chain is preferable, in certain aspects of the present invention, a relatively small number of the polymer chains can include multiple functionalities. For example, the percentage of chains with multiple functionalities can be no more than 25%, less than 25%, no more than 20%, no more than 15%, no more than 10%, no more than 5%, no more than 2%, no more than 1%, and even 0% (i.e., essentially free of polymer chains with multiple functionalities).

    [0041] Useful second functionalizing compounds include those known to provide interactivity with silica fillers. These include tetraalkyl orthosilicates, e.g., tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), and alkyl alkoxysilanes of the general formula R1pSi(OR2)4-p where the alkoxy groups can be the same or different; each R1 independently can be a C1-C20 aliphatic, C5-C20 cycloaliphatic, or C6-C20 aromatic group; each R2 independently can be C1-C6; and p is an integer of from 1 to 3. In one embodiment, at least one R1 group contains from 6 to 20 carbon atoms and the remainder of the R1 groups, if any, contain from 1 to 3 carbon atoms. In one embodiment, R2 can contain 1 to 4, preferably 1 or 2, carbon atoms and preferably is an alkyl group. At least one R1 group can be much larger (in terms of the number of carbon atoms that it includes) than any R2 group. Non-limiting examples include octyl triethoxysilane, octyl trimethoxysilane, trimethyl ethoxysilane, cyclohexyl triethoxysilane, isobutyl triethoxysilane, ethyl trimethoxysilane, cyclohexyl tributoxysilane, dimethyl diethoxysilane, methyl triethoxysilane (MTES), propyl triethoxysilane, hexyl triethoxysilane, heptyl triethoxysilane, nonyl triethoxysilane, octadecyl triethoxysilane, methyloctyl diethoxysilane, dimethyl dimethoxysilane, methyl trimethoxysilane, propyl trimethoxysilane, hexyl trimethoxysilane, heptyl trimethoxysilane, nonyl trimethoxysilane, octadecyl trimethoxysilane, methyloctyl dimethoxysilane, and mixtures thereof.

    [0042] Functionalized alkoxysilanes also can be used as second functionalizing compounds. Examples include N-(3-triethoxysilylpropyl)-4,5-dihydroimidazole, N-allyl-aza-2,2-dimethoxysilacyclopentane, N-(n-butyl)-aza-2,2-dimethoxysilacyclopentane, 2,2-dimethoxy-1-thia-2-silacyclopentane, and 3-(triethoxysilyl)propylsuccinic anhydride, all of which are available from commercial suppliers such as Gelest, Inc. (Morrisville, Pennsylvania).

    [0043] Such materials result in or provide alkoxysilane functional groups, which are known to provide excellent interactivity with silica fillers.

    [0044] Where the first functionalized polymer includes at least one functional group including at least one nitrogen atom and the second functionalized polymer includes at least one functional group including at least one alkoxysilane moiety, certain desirable properties have been found to result from compositions where the first type of functional group (i.e., the functional group included in the first functionalized polymer) constitutes from 25 to 50% of the sum of the first and second types of functional groups. Other ranges for the percentage of first functional group to sum of first and second functional groups include from 25 to 40%, from 25 to 35%, from 25 to 30%, from 30 to 50%, from 30 to 45%, from 30 to 40%, from 30 to 35%, from 35 to 45%, from 35 to 40 %, from 40 to 50%, and from 40 to 45%.

    [0045] If desired, the combination of functionalized polymers can be further reacted or processed, for example through hydrolysis. For example, a protected amino functional group can be de-protected through hydrolysis, typically effected through the introduction of an acid. With respect to category A reactants, a strong inorganic protonic acid can be delivered in, e.g., a polar organic solvent. Use of a relatively strong protonic acid typically ensures extensive de-protection; in other words, the previously di-substituted nitrogen atom from the category A reactant (commonly located at the terminus of the polymer) yields an acidic cation, i.e., a -NH3+ group, and the carbanion becomes a polymer that includes an acidic cation of a primary amine functionality. With respect to category B reactants, acidic hydrolysis yields an acidic cation, i.e., a -NRH2+ group, and the carbanion becomes a polymer that includes an acidic cation of a secondary amine functionality.

    [0046] Such hydrolysis also can convert alkoxy groups (attached to the Si atom of the alkoxysilane) to hydroxyl groups which then can condense to yield Si-O-Si crosslinks between functional groups.

    [0047] An amine salt (i.e., an acidic cation of a primary or secondary amine functionality) can exhibit less interactivity with particulate filler than the corresponding primary or secondary (free) amine. Accordingly, neutralization (i.e., de-protonation) can be desirable. However, as discussed in more detail below, the polymer composition can undergo additional processing prior to neutralization. This additional processing optionally can begin with quenching and/or desolventization.

    [0048] Quenching typically is conducted by stirring the functionalized polymers and an active hydrogen-containing compound (e.g., an alcohol) for up to 120 minutes at temperatures of from 30°C to 150°C. Solvent can be removed by conventional techniques such as drum drying, extruder drying, vacuum drying or the like, which may be combined with coagulation with water, alcohol or steam, thermal desolvation, etc.; if coagulation is performed, oven drying may be desirable. Drum drying can help to protect the acidic cation of the amine functionality and, if coagulation is utilized, maintaining neutral or very slightly acidic conditions can be preferable.

    [0049] After desolventization, the resulting polymers often are stored in the form of blocks or slabs. By allowing the amino functionality of some of the polymers to remain in the aforementioned acidic cation form, the amino functionality is protected against undesirable coupling, i.e., dimerization, caused by oxidation. In other words, the acidic salt form is less susceptible to oxidation (of the nitrogen atom) and the resulting coupling that often follows.

    [0050] The functionalized polymers can be utilized in a tread stock compound or can be blended with any conventionally employed tread stock rubber including natural rubber and/or non-functionalized synthetic rubbers such as, e.g., one or more of poly(isoprene), SBR, poly(butadiene), butyl rubber, neoprene, EPR), EPDM, NBR, silicone rubbers, fluoroelastomers, ethylene/ acrylic rubber, EVA, epichlorohydrin rubbers, chlorinated polyethylene rubbers, chlorosulfonated polyethylene rubbers, hydrogenated nitrile rubber, tetrafluoroethylene/ propylene rubber and the like. When functionalized polymers are blended with conventional rubber(s), the amounts can vary from 5% to 99% by wt. of the total rubber, with the conventional rubber(s) making up the balance of the total rubber. The minimum amount depends to a significant extent on the degree of hysteresis reduction desired.

    [0051] Amorphous silica (SiO2) can be utilized as a filler. Silicas are generally classified as wet-process, hydrated silicas because they are produced by a chemical reaction in water, from which they are precipitated as ultrafine, spherical particles. These primary particles strongly associate into aggregates, which in turn combine less strongly into agglomerates. "Highly dispersible silica" is any silica having a very substantial ability to deagglomerate and to disperse in an elastomeric matrix, a property that can be observed by thin section microscopy.

    [0052] Surface area gives a reliable measure of the reinforcing character of different silicas; the Brunauer, Emmet and Teller ("BET") method (described in J. Am. Chem. Soc., vol. 60, p. 309 et seq.) is a recognized method for determining surface area. BET surface area of silicas generally is less than 450 m2/g, and useful ranges of surface area include from 32 to 400 m2/g, 100 to 250 m2/g, and 150 to 220 m2/g.

    [0053] The pH of the silica filler is generally from 5 to 7 or slightly over, preferably from 5.5 to 6.8.

    [0054] Some commercially available silicas which may be used include Hi-Sil™ 215, Hi-Sil™ 233, and Hi-Sil™ 190 (PPG Industries, Inc.; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Other suppliers of commercially available silica include Grace Davison (Baltimore, Maryland), Degussa Corp. (Parsippany, New Jersey), Rhodia Silica Systems (Cranbury, New Jersey), and J.M. Huber Corp. (Edison, New Jersey).

    [0055] Silica can be employed in the amount of 1 to 100 parts by weight (pbw) per 100 parts of polymer (phr), preferably in an amount from 5 to 80 phr. The useful upper range is limited by the high viscosity imparted by fillers of this type.

    [0056] Other useful fillers include all forms of carbon black including, but not limited to, furnace black, channel blacks and lamp blacks. Specific examples of the carbon blacks include super abrasion furnace blacks, high abrasion furnace blacks, fast extrusion furnace blacks, fine furnace blacks, intermediate super abrasion furnace blacks, semi-reinforcing furnace blacks, medium processing channel blacks, hard processing channel blacks, conducting channel blacks, and acetylene blacks; mixtures of two or more of these can be used. Carbon blacks having a surface area (EMSA) of at least 20 m2/g, preferably at least 35 m2/g, are preferred; surface area values can be determined by ASTM D-1765 using the cetyltrimethyl-ammonium bromide (CTAB) technique. The carbon blacks may be in pelletized form or an unpelletized flocculent mass, although unpelletized carbon black can be preferred for use in certain mixers.

    [0057] The amount of carbon black can be up to 50 phr, with 5 to 40 phr being typical. When carbon black is used with silica, the amount of silica can be decreased to as low as 1 phr; as the amount of silica decreases, lesser amounts of the processing aids, plus silane if any, can be employed.

    [0058] Elastomeric compounds typically are filled to a volume fraction, which is the total volume of filler(s) added divided by the total volume of the elastomeric stock, of 25%; accordingly, typical (combined) amounts of reinforcing fillers, i.e., silica and carbon black, is 30 to 100 phr.

    [0059] Addition of a coupling agent such as a silane is customary so as to enhance mixing of silica filler in, and interaction with, the elastomer(s). Generally, the amount of silane that is added ranges between 4 and 20% by weight, based upon the weight of silica filler present in the elastomeric compound.

    [0060] Coupling agents can have a general formula of Q-T-X, in which Q represents a functional group capable of bonding physically and/or chemically with a group on the surface of the silica filler (e.g., surface silanol groups); T represents a hydrocarbon group linkage; and X represents a functional group capable of bonding with the elastomer (e.g., via a sulfur-containing linkage). Such coupling agents include organosilanes, in particular polysulfurized alkoxysilanes (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,873,489,3,978,103,3,997,581, 4,002,594, 5,580,919, 5,583,245, 5,663,396, 5,684,171, 5,684,172, 5,696,197, etc.) or polyorganosiloxanes bearing the X and Q functionalities mentioned above. One preferred coupling agent is bis[3-(triethoxysilyl)propyl]tetrasulfide.

    [0061] Addition of a processing aid can be used to reduce the amount of silane employed. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,525,118 for a description of fatty acid esters of sugars used as processing aids. Additional fillers useful as processing aids include, but are not limited to, mineral fillers, such as clay (hydrous aluminum silicate), talc (hydrous magnesium silicate), and mica as well as non-mineral fillers such as urea and sodium sulfate. Preferred micas contain principally alumina, silica and potash, although other variants also are useful. The additional fillers can be utilized in an amount of up to 40 phr, preferably up to 20 phr.

    [0062] Other conventional rubber additives also can be added. These include, for example, process oils, plasticizers, anti-degradants such as antioxidants and antiozonants, curing agents and the like.

    [0063] All of the ingredients can be mixed using standard equipment such as, e.g., Banbury or Brabender mixers. Mixing typically occurs in two or more stages. During the first stage (i.e., that which is not intended to immediately precede vulcanization, often referred to as the masterbatch stage), mixing typically is begun at temperatures of 120° to 130°C and increases until a so-called drop temperature, typically 165°C, is reached; a significant portion of the mixing at this stage occurs at temperatures between 140° and 160°C, often between 145° and 155°C. Where a formulation includes silica, a separate re-mill stage often is employed for separate addition of the silane component(s). This stage often is performed at temperatures similar to, although often slightly lower than, those employed in the masterbatch stage, i.e., ramping from 90°C to a drop temperature of 150°C.

    [0064] Advantageously, some of the aforementioned additives, including particularly (but not necessarily limited to) certain curing agents and anti-degradants, are basic in nature due to, e.g., the presence of functionalities that include NH-containing moieties (e.g., amines and amides). For example, as described in more detail in conjunction with Tables 1a and 1b below, typical antioxidants include amines such as, e.g., N-phenyl-N'-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-p-phenyldiamine, and typical accelerators (i.e., curing agents) include amides such as, e.g., benzothiazyl-2-cyclohexylsulfenamide, di(phenylthio)acetamide, etc., and amidines such as, e.g., N,N'-diphenyl guanidine.

    [0065] After being mixed with the functionalized polymer(s), these types of basic additives contact any amine salts that are present and, in effect, neutralize the acidic amino cation, thereby creating free amine functionality. This neutralization typically does not require additional effort or processing steps, i.e., it can occur naturally during mixing and storage of the resulting rubber stock, regardless of form (e.g., slab, wigwag, etc.).

    [0066] If desired, one can include in the mixed components a strong inorganic base, a mixed base system such as pyridine/NaOH, or a very strong organic base such as a tetraalkylammonium hydroxide (e.g., (CH3)4NOH). However, use of such additional bases is not necessary under most circumstances.

    [0067] Neutralization results in polymers with primary or secondary amino functional groups, optimally located at a terminus of a polymer. Both have been found to provide significant interactivity with particulate fillers, although the effect of primary amino functional groups seems to be particularly high.

    [0068] Reinforced rubber compounds conventionally are cured with 0.2 to 5 phr of one or more known vulcanizing agents such as, for example, sulfur or peroxide-based curing systems. For a general disclosure of suitable vulcanizing agents, the interested reader is directed to an overview such as that provided in Kirk-Othmer, Encyclopedia of Chem. Tech., 3d ed., (Wiley Interscience, New York, 1982), vol. 20, pp. 365-468. Vulcanizing agents, accelerators, etc., are added at a final mixing stage. To reduce the chances of undesirable scorching and/or premature onset of vulcanization, this mixing step often is done at lower temperatures, e.g., starting at 60° to 65°C and not going higher than 105° to 110°C.

    [0069] The presence of acidic cation-protected amine functionality also can impact mixing in a positive manner. In at least some circumstances, the presence of polymers with acidic cation-protected amine functionality has been found to lower the drop temperature during initial mixing (i.e., masterbatch stage) and, upon partial or full neutralization of the acidic cation so as to provide polymer with free amine functionality, raise the drop temperature during final mixing. Both of these effects typically are desirable.

    [0070] Fully compounded mixtures typically are processed (e.g., milled) into sheets prior to being formed into any of a variety of components and then vulcanized, which typically occurs at 5° to 15°C higher than the highest temperatures employed during the mixing stages, most commonly 170°C.

    [0071] The following non-limiting, illustrative examples provide the reader with detailed conditions and materials that can be useful in the practice of the present invention.

    EXAMPLES



    [0072] In the following examples, dried glass vessels previously sealed with extracted septum liners and perforated crown caps under a positive N2 purge were used for all preparations. Butadiene in hexane, styrene (33% by wt.) in hexane, hexane, n-butyllithium, 2,2-bis(2'-tetrahydrofuryl)propane (1.6 M solution in hexane, stored over CaH2), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) in hexane were used.

    [0073] The following commercially available reagents and starting materials, all of which were acquired from Sigma-Aldrich Co. (St. Louis, Missouri), were used without further purification unless otherwise noted: 1-(3-bromopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane (97% purity), MTES (99% purity), and TEOS (99%+ purity).

    [0074] Testing data in the Examples was performed on filled compositions made according to the formulations shown in Tables 1a and 1b. In these tables, N-phenyl-N'-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-p-phenyldiamine acts as an antioxidant while benzothiazyl-2-cyclohexyl-sulfenamide, N,N'-diphenyl guanidine, and di(phenylthio)acetamide act as accelerators. Each of these materials is an amine and, as described above, can act to neutralize the acidic cation of the amine functionality.
    Table 1a: Compound formulation, carbon black only
    MasterbatchAmount (phr)
     polymer 100
     carbon black (N343 type) 55
     wax 1
    N-phenyl-N'-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-p-phenyldiamine 0.95
     ZnO 2.5
     stearic acid 2
     aromatic processing oil 10
    Final 
     sulfur 1.3
     benzothiazyl-2-cyclohexylsulfenamide 1.7
    N,N'-diphenyl guanidine 0.2
    TOTAL 174.65
    Table 1b: Compound formulation, carbon black and silica
    MasterbatchAmount (phr)
     polymer 100
     silica 30
     carbon black (N343 type) 35
    N-phenyl-N'-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-p-phenyldiamine 0.95
     stearic acid 1.5
     aromatic processing oil 10
    Re-mill 
     60% disulfide silane on carrier 4.57
    Final 
     ZnO 2.5
     sulfur 1.7
     benzothiazyl-2-cyclohexylsulfenamide 1.5
     di(phenylthio)  acetamide 0.25
    N,N'-diphenyl guanidine 0.2
    TOTAL 188.47


    [0075] Data corresponding to "50°C Dynastat tan δ" were acquired from tests conducted on a Dynastat™ mechanical spectrometer (Dynastatics Instruments Corp.; Albany, New York) using the following conditions: 1 Hz, 2 kg static mass and 1.25 kg dynamic load, a cylindrical (9.5 mm diameter × 16 mm height) vulcanized rubber sample, and 50°C.

    [0076] Data corresponding to "Bound Rubber" were determined using the procedure described by J.J. Brennan et al., Rubber Chem. and Tech., 40, 817 (1967).

    Control Example 1, Comparative Examples 2-4 and Examples 5-6


    Control Example 1 and Comparative Examples 2-4



    [0077] To a N2-purged reactor equipped with a stirrer were added 1.78 kg hexane, 0.38 kg styrene, and 2.32 kg butadiene (21.9% by wt. in hexane). The reactor was charged with 3.67 mL n-butyllithium (1.54 M in hexane), followed by 1.05 mL 2,2-bis(2'-tetrahydrofuryl)propane solution. The reactor jacket was heated to 50°C and, after ∼30 minutes, the batch temperature peaked at ∼56°C. After an additional 15 minutes, the polymer cement was transferred from the reactor to dried glass vessels.

    [0078] Two portions were reacted with, respectively, 1-(3-bromopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane (sample 2) and TEOS (sample 3) in a 50°C bath for 30 minutes. These and a non-functionalized polymer (sample 1) were coagulated in isopropanol containing BHT and drum dried.

    [0079] A portion of sample 2 was hydrolyzed with a 1% HCl in THF solution (∼1 hour at room temperature), followed by neutralization with an aqueous 10% NaOH solution over a few minutes at room temperature, to provide an unprotected primary amino functional group-terminated polymer (identified as sample 4 below). This was coagulated and drum dried as above.

    Examples 5-6



    [0080] The foregoing polymerization procedure was repeated except that 3.47 mL n-butyllithium solution was used, and the batch temperature peaked at ∼58°C was reached after ∼24 minutes.

    [0081] After an additional 15 minutes, 0.63 mL of 3.89 M 1-(3-bromopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane in THF was added to the reactor; this resulted in an ∼1:2 ratio of first functionalizing compound to initiator. After ∼5 minutes, 1.1 mL of 4.55 M TEOS in hexane was added; this provided an ∼1:1 ratio of second functionalizing compound to initiator (i.e., an excess of total functionalizing compounds). This mixture was agitated at ∼50°C for an additional 30 minutes.

    [0082] A portion of this multi-functional polymer composition was hydrolyzed and neutralized as above; this became sample 6, while the non-hydrolyzed portion became sample 5. These samples were coagulated and drum dried as above.

    Compound preparation



    [0083] Using the formulations shown in Tables 1a and 1b, vulcanizable elastomeric compounds containing reinforcing fillers were prepared from samples 1-6. Results of physical testing on these compounds are shown below in Table 2. For those rows that include two data points, the upper is for a formulation from Table 1a, and the lower is for a formulation from Table 1b.
    Table 2: Testing data from Control Example 1, Comparative Examples 2-4 and Examples 5-6
     123456
    Mn (kg/mol) 106 116 147 78 180 204
    Mw / Mn 1.06 1.28 2.24 1.80 1.62 1.90
    % coupling 0 38.7 45.7 83.8 62.2 68.7
    Tg (°C) -36.5 -36.6 -35.0 -36.9 -38.0 -37.9
    Bound rubber (%) 12.0 38.3 31.2 35.5 37.3 40.8
    15.5 32.1 62.0 34.6 50.1 51.1
    171°C MDR t50 (min) 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.7 2.8 2.4
    7.5 5.2 6.1 5.7 5.5 4.4
    171°C MH-ML (kg-cm) 17.4 16.9 17.2 17.3 17.0 17.2
    23.0 23.8 20.4 25.0 22.1 21.3
    ML1+4 @ 130°C 26.2 60.0 44.4 60.0 70.7 71.9
    62.5 -- 93.0 117.0 115.3 99.9
    300% modulus @ 23°C (MPa) 10.6 13.3 11.7 13.2 12.5 14.0
    9.1 10.5 15.0 11.7 12.6 14.2
    Tensile strength @ 23°C (MPa) 17.9 19.1 20.1 18.9 19.9 18.1
    13.4 15.8 18.6 14.2 18.4 18.9
    Temp. sweep 0°C tan δ 0.212 0.236 0.209 0.237 0.229 0.232
    0.184 0.188 0.245 0.192 0.202 0.220
    Temp. sweep 50°C tan δ 0.273 0.195 0.236 0.197 0.212 0.179
    0.221 0.195 0.189 0.194 0.199 0.194
    RDA 0.25-14% ΔG' (MPa) 4.496 0.923 3.349 0.981 2.059 2.317
    9.638 5.493 3.197 6.449 3.919 2.771
    50°C RDA strain sweep (5% strain) tan δ 0.2514 0.1280 0.2148 0.1162 0.1619 0.1684
    0.2235 0.1695 0.1778 0.1666 0.1533 0.1414
    50°C Dynastat tan δ 0.2421 0.2206 0.2023 0.1237 0.1620 0.1618
    0.2087 0.1735 0.1627 0.1727 0.1663 0.1565


    [0084] The 50°C strain sweep data of Table 2 show that compounds of styrene/butadiene interpolymers with multiple functional groups (Examples 5 and 6) provide slightly less reduction in tan δ in a carbon black-only formulation than corresponding interpolymers with only a protected amino group or primary amine functional group (Comparative Examples 2 and 4, respectively). However, the multi-functional compounds exhibit markedly improved tan δ reduction in a mixed filler system.

    [0085] Similarly, comparing the same data for Example 5 and Comparative Example 3, significant improvement in tan δ reduction in a carbon black-only formulation and moderate improvement in a mixed filler formulation can be achieved. The latter is especially surprising in view of the fact that fewer chains would seem to include alkoxysilane functionality.

    [0086] Higher tan δ at 0°C values correspond generally to better wet traction performance. The data of Table 2 indicate that Examples 5 and 6 perform at least comparably to those not involving a combination of functional groups (Comparative Examples 2-4).

    Control Example 7, Comparative Example 8 and Examples 9-12



    [0087] The polymerization procedure described with respect to Control Example 1, Comparative Examples 2-4 and Examples 5-6 was, in substantial part, repeated. A non-functionalized control polymer was processed as described with respect to Control Example 1, Comparative Examples 2-4 and Examples 5-6 (sample 7).

    [0088] As a comparative, one portion of the polymer cement was reacted with an excess of MTES (sample 8) prior to being coagulated in isopropanol and drum dried.

    [0089] Portions of the polymer were reacted with 1-(3-bromopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane. One was reacted with ∼0.5 equivalents (based on the amount of n-BuLi initiator utilized), another with ∼0.3 equivalents, and a third with ∼0.7 equivalents. These are designated functionalized samples A, B, and C below.

    [0090] Functionalized sample A was further reacted with 1 equivalent (based on the amount of n-BuLi initiator) of MTES. One portion of this (sample 11) was coagulated in isopropanol and drum dried. Another portion of this multi-functional polymer composition was hydrolyzed and neutralized as above prior to being coagulated and drum dried (sample 12).

    [0091] Functionalized sample B was further reacted with 1 equivalent of MTES (sample 10) prior to being coagulated in isopropanol and drum dried.

    [0092] Functionalized sample C was further reacted with 1 equivalent of MTES (sample 9) prior to being coagulated in isopropanol and drum dried.

    [0093] Using the formulations shown in Tables 1a and 1b above, vulcanizable elastomeric compounds containing reinforcing fillers were prepared from samples 7-12. Results of physical testing on these compounds are shown below in Table 3.
    Table 3: Testing data from Control Example 7, Comparative Example 8 and Examples 9-12
     789101112
    Mn (kg/mol) 100 109 117 124 122 126
    Mw / Mn 1.06 1.11 1.15 1.15 1.16 1.27
    % coupling 1.8 15.9 28.6 27.1 37.1 55.1
    Tg (°C) -38.1 -38.5 -38.8 -38.2 -36.4 -36.5
    Bound rubber (%) 8.1 13.9 24.5 21.6 18.3 21.5
    16.5 60.0 73.6 66.3 64.5 60.7
    171°C MDRt50 (min) 2.6 2.6 2.8 2.7 2.6 2.0
    7.9 5.6 5.7 5.1 5.4 4.9
    171°C MH-ML (kg-cm) 17.7 18.3 18.0 18.4 17.9 16.2
    21.9 18.5 17.7 18.5 17.6 19.3
    ML1+4 @ 130°C 23.6 30.8 39.2 42.5 38.9 56.3
    58.9 89.6 85.2 99.9 91.6 96.3
    300% modulus @ 23°C (MPa) 10.9 11.5 13.2 13.0 12.7 11.6
    8.7 14.7 15.9 14.6 14.7 14.5
    Tensile strength @ 23°C (MPa) 16.0 17.1 18.7 16.9 18.9 18.5
    12.8 18.3 15.5 19.0 16.2 17.7
    Temp. sweep 0°C tan δ 0.191 0.203 0.213 0.209 0.219 0.213
    0.160 0.187 0.228 0.203 0.216 0.212
    Temp. sweep 50°C tan δ 0.261 0.253 0.235 0.236 0.252 0.239
    0.231 0.187 0.162 0.177 0.180 0.179
    RDA 0.25-14% ΔG' (MPa) 5.009 4.333 1.938 2.067 3.052 2.203
    9.283 2.113 2.149 1.948 2.188 2.758
    50°C RDA strain sweep (5% strain) tan δ 0.2543 0.2209 0.1694 0.1731 0.2078 0.1875
    0.2314 0.1609 0.1525 0.1413 0.1572 0.1543
    50°C Dynastat tan δ 0.2390 0.2144 0.1647 0.1611 0.1941 0.1779
    0.2062 0.1565 0.1518 0.1437 0.1502 0.1559


    [0094] The 50°C strain sweep data of Table 3 show that compounds of styrene/butadiene interpolymers with multiple functional groups (Examples 9-12) provide reductions in tan δ in both carbon black-only and mixed filler (silica/ carbon black) formulations than corresponding interpolymers with no or MTES-only functionalization (Control Example 7 and Comparative Example 8, respectively).

    [0095] That same data show that Example 10 (∼0.3:1 first functionalization and ∼0.7:1 second functionalization) exhibited the maximum reduction in tan δ in a mixed filler formulation.

    [0096] With respect to tan δ at 0°C values, the data of Table 3 indicate that Examples 9-12 were comparable to Comparative Example 8.

    Control Example 13, Examples 14-15 and Comparative Examples 16-17



    [0097] The polymerization procedure described with respect to Control Example 1, Comparative Examples 2-4 and Examples 5-6 was, in substantial part, repeated. However, a di-functional initiator made by reacting sec-butyllithium with 1,3-diisopropenylbenzene was used so that most of the living polymers (carbanions) formed had two live sites instead of one.

    [0098] A non-functionalized control polymer (sample 13) was processed as described above with respect to sample 1.

    [0099] Some of the living cement was reacted sequentially with 1-(3-bromopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane and TEOS as described with respect to samples 5-6 above. A portion of this sequentially functionalized polymer was hydrolyzed as described with respect to sample 6 above. These became samples 14 and 15, respectively.

    [0100] Another portion of the living cement was reacted with 1-(3-bromopropyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-1-aza-2,5-disilacyclopentane as described with respect to sample 2 above. A portion of this functionalized polymer was hydrolyzed as described with respect to sample 4 above. These became samples 16 and 17, respectively.

    [0101] All samples were coagulated and drum dried as in previous examples.

    [0102] Using the formulations shown in Tables 1a and 1b above, vulcanizable elastomeric compounds containing reinforcing fillers were prepared from samples 13-17. Results of physical testing on these compounds are shown below in Table 4. (Example 14 could not be processed in a mixed filler system, so it does not include a second set of data in the table that follows.)
    Table 4: Testing data from Control Example 13, Examples 14-15 and Comparative Examples 16-17
     1314151617
    Mn (kg/mol) 118 113 89 152 154
    Mw / Mn 1.05 1.94 2.18 1.43 1.45
    % coupling 0.0 53.8 56.4 57.4 58.9
    Tg (°C) -38.1 -36.2 -36.7 -36.7 -36.9
    Bound rubber (%) 13.7 66.8 53.6 67.6 62.1
    19.1 n/a 67.8 52.4 51.4
    171°C MDR t50 (min) 3.0 2.6 1.8 2.4 2.3
    7.1 n/a 3.4 3.9 3.5
    171°C MH-ML (kg-cm) 17.7 16.4 15.4 14.8 15.5
    22.9 n/a 21.5 20.8 24.3
    ML1+4 @ 130°C 31.1 (A) 109.9 (A) (A)
    71.7 n/a (A) (A) (A)
    300% modulus @ 23°C (MPa) 10.9 15.2 14.5 15.9 16.2
    9.4 n/a 17.0 13.6 13.9
    Tensile strength @ 23°C (MPa) 18.1 17.7 20.4 19.3 18.8
    14.8 n/a 19.2 16.4 19.0
    Temp. sweep 0°C tan δ 0.187 0.260 0.242 0.254 0.247
    0.192 n/a 0.250 0.223 0.217
    Temp. sweep 50°C tan δ 0.247 0.127 0.139 0.119 0.126
    0.226 n/a 0.147 0.158 0.158
    RDA 0.25-14% ΔG' (MPa) 4.079 1.823 1.383 0.993 1.174
    8.458 n/a 4.144 2.980 3.719
    50°C RDA strain sweep (5% strain) tan δ 0.2377 0.1345 0.1302 0.1062 0.1129
    0.2232 n/a 0.1457 0.1325 0.1344
    50°C Dynastat tan δ 0.2395 0.1298 0.1256 0.1077 0.1092
    0.2119 n/a 0.1420 0.1332 0.1352
    (A) Too high to be measured by equipment used


    [0103] The data from Table 4 show that the use of multifunctional initiators can result in polymers that have multiple functionalities on the same chain, but that these polymers can present some processing challenges when incorporated into filled compositions. Nevertheless, such functionalized polymers can result in significant reductions in tan 6 in both carbon black-only and mixed silica/ carbon black formulations relative to corresponding interpolymers with no functionalization.


    Claims

    1. A method for making a filled composition, comprising:

    a) providing a composition comprising carbanionic polymer chains;

    b) allowing a portion of said chains to react with a first compound so as to provide a first functionalized polymer which is terminally functionalized; and

    c) introducing a second compound to the composition formed in step b) and allowing another portion of said carbanionic polymer chains to react with said second compound so as to provide a second functionalized polymer in the presence of said first functionalized polymer,

    wherein said first functionalized polymer interacts preferentially with one type of particulate filler and said second functionalized polymer interacts preferentially with another type of particulate filler, and
    wherein said first compound leads to amino functionalization and wherein said second compound is a silicate providing (alkoxy)silane functionalization.
     
    2. The method of claim 1 wherein said first compound comprises a protected amino group and wherein said first functionalized polymer comprises at least one functional group comprising at least one nitrogen atom, said at least one functional group being derived from said protected amino group.
     
    3. The method of claim 2 wherein said first compound further comprises nucleophilic functionality or at least one -NR'-C(Z)- moiety where Z is S or O and R' is an alkyl or aryl group.
     
    4. The method of claim 1 wherein said first compound comprises at least one C=N moiety.
     
    5. The method of any of claims 1 to 4 wherein said second compound is a tetraalkyl orthosilicate or an alkyl alkoxysilane and wherein said second functionalized polymer comprises at least one functional group comprising an alkoxysilance moiety, said at least one functional group being derived from said tetraalkyl orthosilicate or alkyl alkoxysilane.
     
    6. The method of claim 5 wherein said at least one functional group comprising at least one nitrogen atom comprises from about 25 to about 35% of the sum of the functional groups comprising at least one nitrogen atom and the functional groups comprising an alkoxysilane moiety.
     
    7. The method of any of claims 1 to 6 wherein said composition further comprises a solvent.
     
    8. The method of claim 7 further comprising removing substantially all of said solvent from said composition and blending said composition with materials that comprise at least two types of particulate fillers and at least one vulcanization accelerator and antioxidant.
     
    9. The method of claim 8 further comprising adding a vulcanizing agent.
     
    10. The method of claim 9 further comprising a vulcanizing step to prepare a vulcanizate.
     
    11. The method of claim 1 further comprising adding at least two types of particulate filler.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Herstellen einer gefüllten Zusammensetzung, umfassend:

    a) Bereitstellen einer Zusammensetzung, die carbanionische Polymerketten umfasst;

    b) Umsetzen eines Abschnitts der Ketten mit einer ersten Verbindung, um ein erstes funktionalisiertes Polymer bereitzustellen, das endständig funktionalisiert ist; und

    c) Einführen einer zweiten Verbindung in die in Schritt b) gebildete Zusammensetzung und Umsetzen eines anderen Abschnitts der carbanionischen Polymerketten mit der zweiten Verbindung, um ein zweites funktionalisiertes Polymer in Gegenwart des ersten funktionalisierten Polymers bereitzustellen,

    wobei das erste funktionalisierte Polymer vorzugsweise mit einer Art von teilchenförmigem Füllstoff interagiert und das zweite funktionalisierte Polymer vorzugsweise mit einer anderen Art von teilchenförmigem Füllstoff interagiert, und
    wobei die erste Verbindung zu Aminofunktionalisierung führt, und wobei die zweite Verbindung ein Silicat ist, das (Alkoxy)silanfunktionalisierung bereitstellt.
     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste Verbindung eine geschützte Aminogruppe umfasst, und wobei das erste funktionalisierte Polymer mindestens eine funktionelle Gruppe umfasst, die mindestens ein Stickstoffatom umfasst, wobei die mindestens eine funktionelle Gruppe von der geschützten Aminogruppe abgeleitet ist.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 2, wobei die erste Verbindung ferner nukleophile Funktionalität oder mindestens eine -NR'-C(Z)-Einheit umfasst, wobei Z S oder O ist und R' eine Alkyl- oder Arylgruppe ist.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste Verbindung mindestens eine C=N-Einheit umfasst.
     
    5. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei die zweite Verbindung ein Tetraalkylorthosilicat oder ein Alkylalkoxysilan ist, und wobei das zweite funktionalisierte Polymer mindestens eine funktionelle Gruppe umfasst, die eine Alkoxysilaneinheit umfasst, wobei die mindestens eine funktionelle Gruppe von dem Tetraalkylorthosilicat oder Alkylalkoxysilan abgeleitet ist.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei die mindestens eine funktionelle Gruppe, die mindestens ein Stickstoffatom umfasst, von ungefähr 25 bis ungefähr 35 % der Summe der funktionellen Gruppen, die mindestens ein Stickstoffatom umfassen, und der funktionellen Gruppen, die eine Alkoxysilaneinheit umfassen, ausmacht.
     
    7. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei die Zusammensetzung ferner ein Lösungsmittel umfasst.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, ferner umfassend das Entfernen von im Wesentlichen dem gesamten Lösungsmittel aus der Zusammensetzung und Mischen der Zusammensetzung mit Materialien, die mindestens zwei Arten von teilchenförmigen Füllstoffen und mindestens einen Vulkanisierungsbeschleuniger und ein Antioxidationsmittel umfassen.
     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, ferner umfassend das Zugeben eines Vulkanisierungsmittels.
     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, ferner umfassend einen Vulkanisierungsschritt, um ein Vulkanisat herzustellen.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend das Zugeben von mindestens zwei Arten von teilchenförmigen Füllstoffen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de fabrication d'une composition chargée, comprenant :

    a) la fourniture d'une composition comprenant des chaînes polymères carbanioniques ;

    b) le fait de permettre à une partie desdites chaînes de réagir avec un premier composé de façon à fournir un premier polymère fonctionnalisé qui est à fonctionnalité terminale ; et

    c) l'introduction d'un deuxième composé dans la composition formée à l'étape b) et le fait de permettre à une autre partie desdites chaînes polymères carbanioniques de réagir avec ledit deuxième composé de façon à fournir un deuxième polymère fonctionnalisé en présence dudit premier polymère fonctionnalisé,

    dans lequel ledit premier polymère fonctionnalisé interagit préférentiellement avec un type de charge particulaire et ledit deuxième polymère fonctionnalisé interagit préférentiellement avec un autre type de charge particulaire, et
    dans lequel ledit premier composé entraîne une fonctionnalisation amino et dans lequel ledit deuxième composé est un silicate fournissant une fonctionnalisation (alcoxy)silane.
     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit premier composé comprend un groupe amino protégé et dans lequel ledit premier polymère fonctionnalisé comprend au moins un groupe fonctionnel comprenant au moins un atome d'azote, ledit au moins un groupe fonctionnel étant dérivé dudit groupe amino protégé.
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ledit premier composé comprend en outre une fonctionnalité nucléophile ou au moins un fragment -NR'-C(Z)- où Z est S ou O et R' est un groupe alkyle ou aryle.
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit premier composé comprend au moins un fragment C=N.
     
    5. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel ledit deuxième composé est un orthosilicate de tétra-alkyle ou un alkyl-alcoxysilane et dans lequel ledit deuxième polymère fonctionnalisé comprend au moins un groupe fonctionnel comprenant un fragment alcoxysilane, ledit au moins un groupe fonctionnel étant dérivé dudit orthosilicate de tétra-alkyle ou alkyl-alcoxysilane.
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 5, dans lequel ledit au moins un groupe fonctionnel comprenant au moins un atome d'azote comprend d'environ 25 à environ 35 % de la somme des groupes fonctionnels comprenant au moins un atome d'azote et des groupes fonctionnels comprenant un fragment alcoxysilane.
     
    7. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans lequel ladite composition comprend en outre un solvant.
     
    8. Procédé selon la revendication 7, comprenant en outre l'élimination d'essentiellement la totalité dudit solvant de ladite composition et le mélange de ladite composition avec des matériaux qui
    comprennent au moins deux types de charges particulaires et au moins un accélérateur de vulcanisation et un antioxydant.
     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre l'ajout d'un agent de vulcanisation.
     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, comprenant en outre une étape de vulcanisation pour préparer un vulcanisat.
     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre l'ajout d'au moins deux types de charge particulaire.
     






    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description