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Natural Rubber


Natural Rubber Alternate Possibilities Dr. S.N. Chakravarty KPS Consultants & Impex Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi (e.mail Natural Rubber ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Natural Rubber

Natural Rubber Alternate Possibilities
  • Dr. S.N. Chakravarty
  • KPS Consultants Impex Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi
  • (e.mail

Natural rubber, obtained almost exclusively from
Hevea brasiliensis tree, a unique biopolymer of
strategic importance in many of its most
significant applications, cannot be replaced by
SR alternatives. Several pressing motives lead to
search for alternative sources of NR.
NR price is continuously rising since last about
a year causing serious problem to the rubber
products manufacturer. Now even international
price of NR has become higher than the national
price level - becoming difficult to contain price
of finished product maintain quality level
As per latest IRSG report Global rubber
consumption reached 23.1 million MT (June 2009
June 2010) , 11.2 over earlier year. NR
consumption rose by 0.3 million MT in 2nd qtr of
2010 7.9 YOY consumption growth in June
2010. Global NR supply fell back in 2nd qtr of
2010 with production growth slowing down from
4.9 to 3.5. NR market moved into deficit in
2010. Global rubber out put reached 23 million
MT in the 12 months to June 2010, compared to
21.2 million MT during same period in 2009 giving
an increase of 8.9 in the out put. Global SR
production was 13.3 higher in the period of 12
months to June 2010 compared to same period in
NR production in India during 2009 -10 was
831,400 MT compared to 864,500 MT during 2008
09 which was -3.8. India emerged as the
second largest consumer of NR after China by
overtaking USA Japan. Total consumption was
930,565 MT ( 6.8 ) as against 871,720 MT during
the previous year. Production of SR in India
during 2009-10 increased to 106,743 MT from
96,739 MT during 2008-09 , ( 10.3). SR
consumption increased to 347,710 MT during
2009-10 ( 18.7) compared to previous year.
Gap between domestic NR production
consumption in 2010 11 is likely to be around
175,000 MT may grow to over 200,000 MT as per
Potential shortages of supply due to increasing
demand changes in land use, general trend
towards replacement of petroleum-derived
chemicals with renewable are forcing users of NR
to look into alternative products. Two plant
species have received considerable attention as
potential alternative sources of NR, Mexican
shrub Guayule Russian Dandelion.
Reduction in world production of NR to the
extent of about 5 last year coupled with
increasing demand of NR due to increased volume
of steel radial tyre production are major factor
of NR price increase. Global NR consumption is
expected to fall 5.5 in 2009.
NR output in seven member countries India, China,
Vietnam Sri Lanka as well as three top
producers fell 5.1 percent to 8.67 million MT in
12 months ended Sept. 30, 2009, compared to 9.13
million MT in 2008. Malaysian NR output
plummeted 23.6 to 865,000 MT from the 1.07
million MT in 2008. NR production also fell in
India (10.8 ), Thailand (8.3 ), Indonesia (6.3
), Sri Lanka remained even at 129,000 MT, while
China saw a 28.5 increase to 646,000 MT.
Rs.78 / Kg November 2009
Rs.113 /
Kg November 2010
Rs.202 / Kg December 2010
Rs.206 / Kg January 2011
Still increasing
Value of NR produced in 2010 Rs. 14,778 Crore
An increase of around 75 compared to
2009 Gains to small growers which account for
94 of total NR produced. Productivity was 1776
Kg / hector / year Consumption of NR in India
registered a fall of 1.3 in Dec. 2010
Are there any alternative to NR ?
Are there any way to reduce dependence on NR by
conserving its usage suitably modify compound
without sacrificing the performance of the
What are the possibilities to conserve NR
reduce its usage in different products ?
Press release of 2nd December 2010. Bridgestone
Corp. Plans to cut rubber consumption by 50
over the next 10 years. Bridgestone is in the
process of developing technology that will
decrease the use of both NR SR in each
Bridgestone tyre by half.
GM Rubber Field trials with Genetically
Modified Rubber are expected to start next year
by RRII in Kerala Maharashtra. GM Technology
will make rubber plantation hardy more capable
of withstanding weather pattern. GM Rubber will
be more sturdy plant, may give 10 more yield
than existing verities. GM Rubber to lead
additional revenue of Rs. 300 Crore / Year as per
What are the alternate to NR ? Possibilities are

1. Blends with other Elastomers like GP
SR - SBR, BR, IR, NBR / PVC etc.
2. Go for usage of specialty SR like EPDM
CPE for particular application
3. Guayule Rubber
4. Dandelion

5. Conserving NR by reducing RHC in
compound without affecting properties for
different application .
Blends with other elastomers like GP SR- SBR,
BR, IR, NBR / PVC. It is common widely used
practice of blending NR with SBR, BR etc -
should go for higher dosage level of SR or even
100 level of SR in different compounds. Usage
of synthetic Poly-isoprene rubber in India is
negligible. NR, IR provide certain advantages
like no need for mastication thus saving of
energy machine capacity , transparency lower
requirement of pigments etc. Recently sample
tyres made with Bio-Isoprene rubber with
renewable biomass , alternative to
Petrochemically produced SR. This tyre was
demonstrated in Copenhagen during Climate
Conference. Bio-Isoprene offers vast potential
in other applications.
Go for usage of specialty SR like EPDM CPE for
particular application , often in blend with NR.
Different products where either 100 SR could be
used in place of NR, e.g. rubber sheeting /
electrical mats, weather / water proof sheet etc.
which could be made with EPDM - price is close to
NR, effective compound cost could be lower as
EPDM is heavily extended by filler and process
oil. For specific application NR can be
blended with CPE thus improve processing
quality level of product, e.g. coated fabric,
tubing , hose etc. - such blend will process
better than NR alone, compound safety impart
better heat resistance fire resistance
Guayule Rubber This is known since long
serious attempts have been made by different
countries to produce rubber out of this plant.
Major efforts were put by USA / Mexico large
fund was invested for this alternate to NR.
However, its volume commercial usage has
remained very restricted. The chemical
structure of both guayule and hevea rubber is
entirely cis-1,4-polyisoprene. The molecular
weight distributions (MWD) of guayule and hevea
rubber are roughly comparable. Green strength of
guayule rubber is intermediate between that of
hevea rubber and synthetic cis-1,4-polyisprene.
In all processes, the guayule bush must be ground
into small particles to allow plant cells to be
exposed to an organic solvent to dissolve resin
or rubber or water to coagulate the latex inside
the plant cells into large aggregates of rubber,
called worms. The preparation of suitable
vulanisates with Guayule rubber has always been
questionable. Basically, the Guayule rubber
stock containing carbon black gave lower modulus,
tensile strength, rebound, hardness, and tear
strength than SMR. However, with the exception of
tear strength, the properties would be sufficient
for most industrial compounds.
Dandelion Researchers are therefore turning to
other sources such as the Russian dandelion.
The dandelions that are actually needed to
produce rubber are from the Taraxacum koksaghyz
family, a plant that grows in Uzbekistan and it
is also known as the Russian dandelion. Currently
the researchers from Oregon State University are
working with the Ohio scientists to develop seeds
that might increase yields.
Conserving NR by reducing RHC in a compound
without affecting properties for different
application by judicious selection of particular
filler type its dosage level. Serious
thoughts should be given in this direction, both
in case of tyre non tyre products.
Crumb rubber and Reclaim rubber are two well
known widely used alternate. These alternate
possibilities give certain technical advantages
besides cost aspect. - are used in tyre and non
tyre industry in different compounds like
calandering extrusion compound. Crumb rubber
of 80 mesh can be used at higher proportion in a
compound. Similar advantage provided by
chemically treated crumb rubber. Also, with
finer reclaim rubber higher proportion can be
used in different compounds reducing NR level.

Fillers Certain fillers like Nano filler e.g.
Nano Calcium Carbonate at specific dosage level
have been studied practically tried in
different rubber Latex compounds which show
possibility of reduction of RHC in compound
without affecting properties. This Nano filler is
less than 50 of NR price.
Nano CaCO3 is very fine particle ( 40 to 100 nm )
when used in rubber compound imparts better
air impermeability reinforces the compound at
very low dosage of 8 to 10 phr level - products
like NR based cycle tubes latex based bladder
By using 8 to 10 phr of such filler in to
existing compound one does not loose properties
but simultaneously reduces rubber content by
nearly half the price filler.

Certain natural occurring materials like
agricultural products ( Corn Starch , Rice husk
etc.) have been used in rubber products
compound. Goodyear used corn starch in some of
its tyre compound like Carcass compound. This
can provide an opportunity for cost reduction of
NR based compound. Certain waste material can be
used in non-critical products thus reducing
rubber content in the compound.
Short cellulose fiber have been studied as
reinforcing fillers in rubber composites during
last few decades. Micro-crystalline cellulose
(MCC) was used as a filler replacing part of
silica filler in a SBR BR based compounds .
Of the platelet type fillers available,
including nano sized materials, glass flake is
one of the easiest to mix into rubber compounds
once in the compound remain as a stable entity.
Glass flake of very fine size was mixed into
inner liner compound and aligned in the direction
of calandering to increase the diffusion path of
gas molecules across the rubber layer. For a
relatively low loading of glass flake, the
permeation rate was reduced significantly by 45.
  • Some thoughts about RHC reduction in tyre
  • 1. Compound - to improve Abrasion Cut
    resistance (Tear ), lower heat development (
    Resilience ), Wet grip etc.
  • Enabling to reduce NSD Tyre Weight
  • Usage of chopped fibers ( e.g. Aramid Fiber )
    application in RT, OTR, Mining , Industrial
  • CB Silica Silane system
  • Nano filler usage
  • New SR type with higher MWD MW, Cis content
    better properties

  • Higher Pressure curing
  • 7. Electron Beam Radiation curing.
  • Reduced tyre weight lower NSD, No. of Plies
    (higher strength fiber ), Reduce compound weight
    in Tread Carcass.
  • 9. Usage of replenishable materials no
  • 10. Better interaction between Silica Polymer
    usage of Epoxidized NR.
  • 11. Improvement of properties with filler
    dispersion (additive such as Nanoprene )

  • 12. Solid Glass spheres derived from beneficated
    pulverized fuel ash (Mini Tron 7 ) used to
    partially substitute pptd. Silica in passenger
    tyre tread.
  • 13. High aspect ratio Talc green Tyre inner
    liner (good barrier thermal properties, lower
    rolling resistance cost saving)
  • Waste fibre for NR / SBR composite
  • 15. Energy efficiency innovations needed for
    reducing energy intensity in manufacturing

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