Properties of Dry Natural Rubber Produced by Novel Continuous Process
The purpose of this manuscript is to compare properties of dry natural rubber (NR) produced using a novel continuous drying process to that from a conventional drying technique. Dry rubber from the continuous process is denoted herein as S-TEX, and the dry rubbers by conventional hot air oven, used for comparison, are STR XL and CV 60. The S-TEX could be rapidly produced by the developed novel process based on extrusion, within several minutes, justifying by the residence time from feeding the coagulated NR to dry NR exiting the machine. The S-TEX was light clear yellowish and had uniform properties which met the basic property requirements of Thai rubber standard. The properties studied and reported, included basic dry NR properties, cure properties of rubber compound and mechanical properties of the rubber vulcanizates. It was found that S-TEX showed some different properties from those produced by conventional oven technique. S-TEX dry NR possessed low volatile content of less than 0.3% by weight. This volatile percentage appeared to be much less than those of other grades of standard Thai rubber, STR, commonly dried using a hot air oven. S-TEX also had less unpleasant odor. Mooney viscosity of S-TEX was in a range of 55–60 MU. Mechanical properties of S-TEX, such as hardness, tensile strength, tear strength, rebound resilience, abrasion resistance, compression set as well as aging resistance were found to be insignificantly different from those of STR XL and CV 60. Note that both S-TEX and CV 60 used lower mixing energy than STR XL (both in gum rubber and in silica-filled rubber compounds). Thus, uniform quality-dry NR (S-TEX) produced by a proprietary rapid and continuous process is considered an alternative useful grade in the natural rubber industry.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2013
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