The effect of mesogenic organic salts as reinforcing fillers for natural rubber has been investigated. The influence of cation size (thallium and sodium) and organic chain length (thallium (I) pentanoate and dodecanoate) on the vulcanization parameters, physical and mechanical characteristics and rheological behavior has also been analyzed. In general, the maximum torque of the vulcanizates increases in the presence of the salts and is clearly manifested in a sensible increase in tensile modulus and strength of the composites. The reinforcing effect of these salts is noticeable in the natural rubber matrix. The thallium (I) salts are more effective reinforcements than the sodium salt, and the length of the organic chain hardly has any influence on the mechanical properties. The composites based on the thallium (I) dodecanoate salt show a very peculiar rheological behavior with a “plateau” in the G’ and G” vs temperature graphics which is related with solid phase I, existing between 83.5 ºC and 127 ºC, characterized as a plastic condis phase. This issue is especially interesting for the fabrication of devices such as sensors to control, for instance, the security (resistance of a material) as a function of temperature.
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