Nor Mayati C.H.
Efforts were undertaken to improve regeneration of Hevea brasiliensis clone RRIM 2025 plants via in vitro culture technology. A total of 12,938 tapetum (anther walls) explants were cultured. Somatic embryogenesis (SEm) were induced on nine different embryogenesis induction media supplemented with zeatin or kinetin, in three separate experiments performed for three consecutive flowering seasons. Callogenesis was significant with the highest mean value at circa 97%. Although SEm and plantlets regeneration were achieved, the results were not significant. SEm formations were slightly insignificantly higher with RD1 supplemented with zeatin at 0.5 mg/L (9.99%) and RD1-E1 enriched with 0.3 mg/L kinetin (11.1%). A high variance of results discerned at embryogenesis and plantlets regeneration stages could be attributed to origin of explant and its susceptibility to variations in climatic conditions. In total, 42 plantlets were obtained and these results would prove invaluable for further improvement of in vitro propagation of RRIM 2025.
P.A.R. Cairo, L.E.M. De Oliveira, A.C. Mesquita and R.L. Cunha
Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase (Rubisco) is a key enzyme in the reactions
of CO2 assimilation in plants. Primary carbohydrates are converted into sucrose, which
depends on the sucrose-P synthase (SPS) as a pivotal enzyme. In rubber tree, sucrose hydrolysis can occur intensively in the laticiferous cells of the stem and depends on the invertase (Inv) and sucrose synthase (SuSy) enzyme, producing reducing sugars, which are precursors of
latex biosynthesis. The aim of this work was to evaluate seasonal changes in Rubisco, SPS, Inv and SuSy activities of rubber plants in a clonal garden (RRIM 600 and GT 1 clones), during warm/rainy and cold/dry seasons in Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The climatic differences in warm/rainy and cold/dry periods caused significant changes in all enzymatic activities evaluated. All enzymes had better performances in the warm/rainy period than in cold/dry. Enzymatic activities seemed to be more affected by temperature changes than by precipitation decrease.
H.H. Chung, K.S. Chow, C. Thompson and E. Mollison
In order to study wood formation in Hevea brasiliensis, endo-1,4-β-glucanase (EGase) was selected for molecular genetic analysis. EGase sequences were isolated from bark, leaf and latex transcriptomes (clone RRIM 928). Altogether, 22 sequences were obtained from the bark transcriptome while 14 and 8 sequences were obtained from leaf and latex transcriptomes, respectively. Based on multiple sequence alignment, only twelve sequences encoded full protein open reading frames while the others contained partial proteins. Translation of twelve EGase sequences (designated HbEg1-12) produced peptide sequences ranging from 494-622 amino acids. Based on protein motif conservation and phylogenetic analysis, these EGases were separated into three classes, A, B and C. Expression of EGase was found to be generally low in latex, bark and leaves.
W.Z. Go, P.S. H’ng, M.Y. Wong, G.H. Tan, A. Luqman Chuah, U. Salmiah, R. Toczyłowska-Mamińska, O. Soni, W.Z. Wong, K.L. Chin and E.W. Chai
In Malaysia, rubber trees are planted for latex and it has contributed 5.7 % to the world’s total production of natural rubber. However, nearly half of the rubber trees are lost to white root rot (WRR) disease caused by Rigidoporus microporus over the planting period. A total of 18 fungi belonging to 16 species distributed in 10 genera were isolated from the soil of three different tree health conditions in a rubber plantation at Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM), Sungai Buloh. The objective was to characterise the fungi diversity with the health condition of rubber trees. Soil samples were collected from study site in August 2013 (1) White root rot (WRR) affected tree zone (ATZ) (2) Healthy tree zone (HTZ) and (3) Regrowth tree zone (RTZ). The soil mycoflora were isolated using soil dilution plate technique on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Identification and characterisation of the mycoflora were based on fungi morphology and PCR-based techniques. Results showed that RTZ zone had the greatest species diversity with 13 species of fungi isolated followed by HTZ zone with six species and ATZ zone with two species. The highest frequency of occurrence in the soils was shown by the genus Penicillium (31.25%) and Trichoderma (18.75%), respectively. The study will be useful to understand the relationship of fungal distribution and trees health conditions. Among the isolates, species such as Trichoderma spp. and Chaetomium cupreum can be evaluated for the suppression of WRR disease.
T.D. Huang, J. Li, Y.T. Li, H.S. Huang and Y.W. Hua
Traditionally, embryogenic callus has been used as the only receptor source of genetic transformation in H. brasiliensis. In this study, we showed that somatic embryos were a viable alternative to embryogenic callus. The appropriate concentration of both decontamination and selection antibiotics was firstly screened. Visual and cytological observations found both epidermal and subepidermal cotyledon cells could be infected, indicating that somatic embryos were susceptible to antibiotics and Agrobacterium. Subsequently, five isolated consecutive transformation experiments were carried out to produce the transgenic plants using a total of 1158 somatic embryos, of which 47 (4.06 %) GUS-positive embryos were produced after cell differentiation and embryogenesis. Six were successfully multiplied and produced 33 plants. PCR and Southern blot analysis confirmed that the T-DNA was integrated into the recovered plants. Finally, three additional cycles of secondary embryogenesis were carried out for transgenic embryo proliferation efficiency assessment. The rate of proliferation tended to slightly increase with each proliferation generation, and one initial transgenic embryo-derived GUS-negative embryo were observed in the fifth multiplication cycle, indicating that transgenic plants could be propagated through secondary embryogenesis and some initial transgenic embryos might be chimeric. This is the first attempt on producing transgenic plants using somatic embryos as the target tissue in H. brasiliensis. It is demonstrated that somatic embryos can be used as an alternative target tissue for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in Hevea brasiliensis.
Suhawati Ibrahim, Asrul Mustafa and K.S. Tan
Liquid natural rubber (LNR) is a derivative of natural rubber (NR) which has a molecular weight of less than 50,000 g/mol. In this study, LNR was prepared via chemical degradation reaction using hydrogen peroxide and sodium nitrite as reagents in latex solution. Compared to the reaction without catalyst, molecular weight of LNR obtained was found to decrease approximately three and two times in the presence of cobalt chloride (CoCl2) and ferrous ammonium sulphate ((NH4)2Fe(SO4)2), respectively. Using the method described, the degradation reaction generates functional groups such as hydroxyl and carbonyl in the LNR chains. In the presence of these catalysts, the hydroxyl groups are decreased and contrarily carbonyl groups in the LNR chains are increased.
Aziana A.H., Amir-Hashim M.Y. and Zuhainis S.W.
This work studied the effect of streptomycin sulphate and surfactin on the stability of field natural rubber (NR) latex. Field NR latex was treated with streptomycin sulphate and surfactin in the absence and presence of ammonia. The stability of NR latex was determined by formation of volatile fatty acid (VFA), enumeration of the bacterial population, measurement of NR latex alkalinity and pH of the latex. Streptomycin sulphate caused significant reduction in bacterial population and VFA formation with an additional advantage as OH- ion stabiliser. Surfactin on the other hand was not suitable as NR latex preservative agent in the absence or presence of ammonia. Although instability of NR latex still appeared, combination of streptomycin sulphate and surfactin showed better control in terms of bacteria and VFA number compared to 0.3% ammoniated NR latex.
S. Wisunthorn, B. Chambon, J. Sainte-Beuve and L. Vaysse
Thailand has adjusted its production strategy by increasing the manufacturing of standard rubber or block rubber (Standard Thai Rubber or STR) in order to meet global market demand. About 90% of block rubber is STR20, for which the major raw material is cup coagulum. Consequently, demand for this raw material is increasing. The quality of cup coagulum produced by smallholders is so variable. Harvesting and post-harvest practices may influence the quality of cup coagulum. However, this has yet to be studied in Thailand. A study was therefore conducted in Surat Thani province to fill this gap. The methodology combined a survey of 79 farmers using a structured questionnaire to describe farmers’ behaviour in cup coagulum production. Analysis of the physical and chemical properties of cup coagulum collected from a subsample of 26 farmers, as well as the properties of the dry rubber obtained from those cup coagula were also carried out. Cup coagula sampled from the 26 farmer subsample were characterised for foreign matter content. The dry rubber samples obtained from the processing of these collected cup coagula (creping-drying) were characterised for initial Wallace plasticity (P0) and the plasticity retention index (PRI). We found that farmers’ harvesting and post-harvest practices were very diverse. A classification of farmers based on these practices was proposed. The quality related parameters showed significant differences between farmers, with some of them being interestingly correlated with certain groups identified by the survey. This study confirmed that the quality of Thai natural rubber starts to be established much earlier than on the factory processing line producing STR bales. Smallholder behaviour may also be of great influence, and training/communication drives could improve the quality of the cup coagulum sold to factories and thereby help the Thai industry to continue producing excellent quality natural rubber.
Leaf growth dynamics may have a bearing on plant performance as they are the major organs of carbon acquisition. Aim of this work was to model leaflet elongation pattern and to determine relationship of function parameters/derived growth quantities with growth performance in Hevea trees. Data were collected from randomly selected six leaflets of three trees from each of nine clones and Richards function was fitted. Growth quantities, critical points and their coordinates were computed and correlated with girth of clones. Leaflet elongation followed a similar pattern irrespective of clone and its duration was short in stress-free period than stress period. Most of the correlations were negative except that of second derivative, duration of linear and plateau phases. None of the stress period correlations were significant. Variation in leaf elongation rates of individual leaflets appeared to be due to variation in rate of cell division and/or cell elongation. All the sampled leaves of a clone followed a very similar growth pattern suggesting common duration in leaf emergence to full leaf expansion of all the leaves in a given whorl irrespective of leaf size. Significant correlation observed for y-axis intercept of phase change point from lag to linear might be useful in identifying high growth clones.
Siti Shuhada Shuib, M. Deon, Murnita Mohamad Mahyuddin, Azimah Izhar, B. Fumanal, E. Sunderasan and V. Pujade-Renaud
Corynespora cassiicola isolates are periodically sourced from infected stands in rubber plantations throughout Malaysia. The severity of C. cassiicola infection varies among the clonally propagated Hevea brasiliensis. In this study, 26 C. cassiicola isolates collected from 1988 until 2006 were analysed for the gene encoding cassiicolin – an important fungal effector involved in the Corynespora leaf fall disease. Cassiicolin gene was successfully amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from 13 C. cassiicola isolates. Deduced protein sequences revealed that 12 isolates harbour the Cas5 gene while one isolate (CKT05D) contains the Cas4 gene. The other 13 isolates in which no Cas gene was detected were classified as Cas0. PCR amplifications were also performed on all 26 isolates using primers specific to the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of ribosomal DNA, the random hyper variable loci ga4 and caa5, and the actin locus act1. A phylogenetic analysis performed on the 26 isolates using four loci (rDNA ITS, caa5, ga4 and act1) revealed three clusters. Cluster 1 encompasses all Cas5 isolates plus two Cas0 isolates, CSD1 and CBPP2. Cluster 2 is represented by the single Cas4 isolate (CKT05D) and clusters 3 groups all the other Cas0 isolates. When placed in a previously described phylogenetic tree of C. cassiicola isolates from various geographical origins and hosts, clusters 1 and 3 fell in clades B4 and A4 respectively. However, CKT05D (Cluster 2) was not placed in a highly supported clade. A detached Hevea leaf assay was performed on six clones with a selection of four C. cassiicola isolates originating from the different clusters that showed varying degree of infectivity. Interestingly, severe necrotic lesion was discerned in most of the clones inoculated with CKT05D (toxin class Cas4) while the other isolates caused moderate to mild infection on all the tested clones.
A. Thitithammawong, C. Nakason and R. Kasoe
Chlorinated epoxidised natural rubber (CENR) was compared to natural rubber (NR) and epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) in terms of compound and vulcanisate properties. Replacing double bonds in isoprene units by epoxide groups and addition of chlorines affect regularity of the NR molecules. Reduction in the active unsaturated sites that can react with soluble sulphurating agent, the alteration of regularity relative to NR, together with the strong inter-chain interactions occurred between polar functional groups and their interactions with silica increase Mooney viscosity and decrease curing rates of ENR and CENR. They also have significant effects on mechanical, dynamic rheological and thermal properties as well as flammability of the rubber vulcanisates. The CENR has slightly inferior mechanical and dynamic rheological properties but superior thermal stability and flammability, in comparison to ENR and NR.
C. Thepchalerm, L. Vaysse, S. Wisunthorn, S. Kiatkamjornwong, C. Nakason and F. Bonfils
Natural rubber (NR) stored for several months becomes progressively harder, a phenomenon called storage hardening affecting the processing properties of NR. The impact of lutoid stability on NR storage hardening was studied. Lutoid stability was determined by a qualitative parameter (lutoid integrity after centrifugation) and by a quantitative parameter (the bursting index or BI). The storage hardening of samples made from washed rubber particles (WRP) was compared to samples made from whole field latex. Lutoid bursting had a significant effect on the storage hardening of NR as shown by a significant correlation between the increase in Wallace plasticity (ΔP) after an accelerated storage hardening test and the BI of lutoids. The BI test appeared a better indicator of lutoid stability than the qualitative observation of lutoids after centrifugation. It was also shown that the ADS prepared with purified particles have a much lower PRI (70) than the controls ADS prepared with the entire latex (PRI=110).
Y.Z. Wang, B.L. Zhang, H.H. Huang and X. Zhang
Mooney viscosity is a technical parameter to control the processing performance of natural rubber (NR) compound. By treating NR with viscosity stabilisers, the NR of a relatively constant viscosity can be manufactured. In this paper, the vulcanisation kinetics of constant viscosity natural rubber (CVNR) prepared with hydrazine dihydrochloride and NR was studied by using a moving die rheometer (Rheometer MDR2000). The results show that the rate constants of induction and curing period of NR are slightly greater than that of CVNR and the activation energies of induction and curing period of NR are lower than that of CVNR. The activation energy of induction period of NR is reduced by 6.28% and the activation energy of curing period of NR is reduced by 3.09% compared to the activation energies of CVNR. The time tdis of NR and CVNR reduce with increasing curing temperature while the time tdis of NR is shorter than that of CVNR at the same temperature.
S.X. Zhang and W.M. Tian
Number of secondary laticifers differentiating from vascular cambium have significant positive correlation with the rubber yield of Hevea. Secondary laticifer does not appear in the stem of the first and second extension unit (EU) of Hevea brasiliensis shoots under natural conditions. It can be induced by mechanical wounding or jasmonic acid (JA) treatment in these parts. Season obviously influences the secondary laticifer differentiation induced by mechanical wounding or JA. In the present paper, the relationship between cytokinin content, vascular cambium activity and effect of mechanical wounding or exogenous JA on the secondary laticifer differentiation in the stem of H. brasiliensis shoots were revealed. The results of the experiment showed that vascular cambium were active from March to October and dormant from November to the following February in the stem of epicormic shoots of H. brasiliensis. Accordingly, the content of isopentenyl adenosine (IPA) in bark tissues was much higher in July than that in January. Either JA or mechanical wounding could induce the secondary laticifer differentiation in July, but neither of them was effective in January. Combination of JA with 6-benzyl aminopurine (6-BA) was quite effective on the secondary laticifer differentiation in January while less effective in July. It is suggested that appropriate ratio of JA to cytokinin is pivotal in regulating the secondary laticifer differentiation in H. brasiliensis.
E. Sunderasan, Norazreen Abd Rahman, K.L. Lam, K.L. Yang and M.T. Ong
Dialysed latex C-serum fractions have been investigated for anti-proliferative activity against human cancer origin cell lines. The present report describes further fractionation of dialysed C-serum supernatant (DCS) and analysis of the sub-fractions that elicit anti-proliferative activity on HepG2 and MDA-MB231, the test cancer origin cell lines. DCS was fractionated through a Sephacryl S-200 column, and the eluents were pooled into four sequential sub-fractions, named DCS-F1, -F2, -F3 and -F4. Cell viability assay revealed that anti-proliferative activity was confined to DCS-F2 and -F3. Furthermore an improved anti-proliferative activity was discerned in the recombined active DCS sub-fractions. DCS-F2 and -F3 were subjected to two dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, subsequent MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis and database searches revealed the presence of a number of proteins that have been shown to be implicated in anti-cancer activity.
NBR-PAni.DBSA blends with useful electrical conductivity (up to 10–1 S.cm–1) were prepared and their corrosion inhibiting behaviours for carbon steel were successfully assessed for the first time. The level of compatibility between NBR and PAni.DBSA was enhanced through the introduction of 1.0 wt% hydroquinone. As found from both total immersion and electrochemical corrosion tests, NBR-PAni.DBSA blends with 10.0-30.0 wt% of PAni.DBSA content exhibited the best corrosion inhibiting behaviour for carbon steel, either in acid or artificial brine environment. On the other hand, blends consisting of very low and very high PAni.DBSA contents (i.e. ≤ 5.0 wt% and ≥ 40.0 wt%) showed significantly poorer corrosion inhibiting behaviour for carbon steel.
A. Azhar and S. Al-Malaika
Blends of PET with the different commercial co(ter)polymer compatibilisers were prepared and the effect of their glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) content and viscosity on the blend properties was determined. The efficiency of compatibilisation of the commercial co(ter)polymer in the ternary blends was examined and compared. For all the ternary blends (PET/EPR/co(ter)polymer, the PET content was fixed at 70 wt% of the total weight of the blends. Higher compatibilisation effect was found in PET/EPR blends compatibilised with the commercial copolymer ethylene glycidyl methacrylate (E-GMA8(5)) containing 8% GMA and MFI = 5 (g/10min) was achieved as reflected in the observed higher elongation at break when compared to corresponding blends compatibilised with the methyl acrylate containing terpolymer ethylene methyl acrylate glycidyl methacrylate EM-GMA8(6) containing 8% GMA and MFI = 6 (g/10min). The presence of methyl acrylate ester groups in the commercial terpolymer EM-GMA (containing similar amount of GMA and same MFI) resulted in low level of compatibilisation due to the possibility of a higher extent of branching and crosslinking resulting from the presence of the ester groups and this would be responsible for the observed lower elongation, and the less favourable morphology observed. Further, the more bulky structure of the terpolymer compared to the copolymer would give rise to a more difficult migration to the interface, thus lowering the efficiency of compatibilisation. However, the morphology of both blends compatibilised with either the terpolymer or the copolymer were not significantly different.
Y.Z. Wang, B.L. Zhang and H.H. Huang
Fresh NR latex was coagulated using formic acid and microorganism. The resulting coagula were matured at various conditions, followed by creping, size reduction and drying at 115ºC for 5 hours. The dried coagula were then scanned using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and aged at various ageing times at 70ºC. The effective storage time (i.e. storage life) of the coagula was evaluated through heat accelerated storage ageing combined with the Doyle-Ozawa equation and the heat ageing life equation. The results showed that the effective storage time of natural rubber prepared by the coagulum of fresh latex coagulated with formic acid and matured for 6, 12, 18 and 24 h respectively increased to 45.6 years from 23.2 years at 30ºC, and increased to 100.5 years from 46.7 years at 25ºC. The effective storage time of natural rubber prepared by the coagulum of fresh latex coagulated with microorganisms and matured for 6, 12, 18 and 24 h respectively increased to 83.3 years from 57.7 years at 30ºC, and increased to 206.3 years from 132.8 years at 25ºC. Both effective storage time of natural rubbers coagulated with formic acid and microorganism increased with the prolonging of coagulum maturation time. The effective storage time of NR from the coagulum matured for 6−12 h increased fast, the effective storage time of NR prepared by the coagulum matured for 12−18 h increase slowly and the increase in the effective storage time of NR prepared by the coagulum matured for 18−24 h tend to be flat. The effective storage time of natural rubber coagulated with microorganisms is obviously longer than that of natural rubber coagulated with formic acid in the same storage conditions.
Roslinda Sajari, Nurul Hainiza Abd Razak, Faridah Yusof, Siti Arija Mad Arif, Mark Perkins and H.Y. Yeang
Vitamin E, mainly in the form of tocotrienols, was extracted from Hevea brasiliensis latex with organic solvents. The content of tocotrienols and a small amount of tocopherols recovered from the latex was determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) confirmed the identities of the tocotrienols and tocopherols forms that were present. Gamma-tocotrienol was the most abundant form of vitamin E in Hevea latex. The yield of tocotrienols (339 μg/g of latex) was significantly increased by the use of the detergent Triton X-100 in the extraction procedure. This method improves the extraction efficiency by 83%. Through drying of the organic fraction using anhydrous magnesium sulphate following phase separation was also advantageous in the extraction procedure. On the other hand, the presence of ammonia in latex suspension reduced extraction efficiency. Vitamin E was also found in the waste serum generated from the processing of deproteinised natural rubber (DPNR). Although the yield of vitamin E from this source was relatively low, there is a potential to modify the processing procedure to produce another value added end product i.e. latex vitamin E in addition to DPNR.
H. Zhang, L. Zhang, Y. Ge, Y. Hua, Z. Lan and H. Huang
Two clones of rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) were cultivated at experimental site of Xinzhong Filiale of Hainan Natural Rubber Group Company, Wanning City, Hainan Province, South China. The influences of five meteorological factors on latex yield were evaluated in seven years (2006-2012) by grey incidence, correlation and path analysis. The five meteorological factors were average temperature, rainfall, sunshine duration, relative humidity and ground temperature. Correlation and path coefficients were analysed between each of five climate factors and latex yield. There were significant correspondences between direct effects with latex yield for average temperature and ground temperature at –0.01 and 0.91 respectively. Grey incidence indicated that the correlation coefficient of latex yield with each of five meteorological factors varied from 0.22 (ground temperature) to 0.41 (relative humidity).
W. Kaewsakul, K. Sahakaro, W.K. Dierkes and J.W.M. Noordermeer
Unmodified squalene (Sq) and epoxidised squalene (ESq), as models for natural rubber and epoxidised natural rubber, were mixed with silica in a reactor at 140 – 145ºC, which corresponds to the optimal mixing dump temperature of silica-filled natural rubber or epoxidised natural rubber compounds. The mixtures were prepared with and without bis-(triethoxysilylpropyl) tetrasulphide (TESPT) silane coupling agent. The bound silica in the mixtures was extracted and checked for its composition by using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The results indicate that Sq and ESq with the help of TESPT can chemically link to the silica surface, as the FTIR spectra of purified bound silicas show absorption peaks of hydrocarbon structures. The epoxidised squalene also produces chemical interaction with silica in the absence of TESPT, but to a lesser extent compared to the one with TESPT, as indicated by the absorption intensity. On the other hand, the silica in the Sq mixture without TESPT shows no trace of hydrocarbon, indicating that there is no noticeable chemical interaction involved.
A. Thitithammawong, C. Nakason and T. Warawat
Flexographic printing photopolymer based on natural rubber (NR) was prepared by blending rubber with styrene-isoprene-styrene block copolymer (SIS) in solution state using toluene as a solvent. The effect of NR types i.e. NR, epoxidised natural rubbers 25(ENR 25®), ENR 50® and acrylated epoxidised natural rubber (AENR) on the properties of photopolymer was studied at various rubber:SIS blend ratios. The influence of types and quantities of acrylate monomer on the properties of flexographic printing photopolymer was also investigated. The results show that tensile strength, elongation at break and tension set as well as abrasion resistance decreased with an increase of rubber content in the blends. Different types of rubber gave rubber/SIS photopolymers optimal properties at different blend ratios. The photopolymers which were prepared by blending NR/SIS, ENR 25®/SIS at 25/75 wt/wt and AENR/SIS at 10/90 wt/wt together with 10% of trimetylolpropane triacrylate monomer and 5% of Irgacure 819 photoinitiator provided properties, i.e. tensile properties, swelling resistance in ink and printability that were comparable to those of the commercial photopolymer. A relief printing plate from ultraviolet exposed photopolymer was later prepared. The imaging ability of NR based relief printing plates (NR/SIS and AENR/SIS) was comparable to relief printing plate from commercial photopolymer.
Yingle Yin, Xintai Chen, Jie Lu and Xuhuang Chen
Ultraviolet transparent silicone rubber with different content of branched vinyl silicone oil was prepared by heat curing method. Curing process, mechanical and optical properties of modified silicone rubber were investigated by rotational rheometer, differential scanning calorimeter, electronic creep testing machine as well as ultraviolet and visible spectrophotometer. Crosslink density of silicone rubber was determined by the toluene-swelling method. Experimental results show that silicone rubber can form an effect of concentrative crosslinking in the presence of branched vinyl silicone oil. When adding certain amount (2 wt%) of branched vinyl silicone oil, the silicone rubber exhibited good mechanical properties (tensile strength 6.51MPa, enlongation at break 229.8%). Gel time and crosslink density of silicone rubber increased with the increase of branched vinyl silicone oil, while the UV transmittance of silicone rubber decreased as the loading of branched vinyl silicone oil increased. In conclusion, silicone rubber has excellent mechanical and optical properties (UV transmittance can be up to 92% and 89% at 350 nm and 300 nm, respectively), when the content of branched vinyl silicone oil is 2 wt%.
Abdulhadi A. Al-Juhani and Bi-Min Zhang Newby
Capsaicin, a natural pepper extract that is substantially less toxic than most currently used antifoulants such as organotin compounds, could be a potential environmentally friendly antifoulant. The antibacterial effectiveness of capsaicin has been reported. However, no detailed study on incorporating the compound into silicone coatings has been conducted. In this study, capsaicin was incorporated into silicone coatings to achieve a synergistic effect by combining the antifouling properties of capsaicin with the foul release performance of silicone rubbers. The silicones used were polydimethylsiloxane rubbers with two different curing mechanisms. Due to the poisonous effect of capsaicin to Pt-based catalysts used for hydrosilylation curing of some silicone coatings, a swelling technique of precured coatings in the capsaicin/benzene solution was utilised. For silicone cured with tin-based catalysts, whose catalysis capability was unaffected by capsaicin, capsaicin was blended into the coating in the presence of a common solvent. Surface and bulk properties of the capsaicin-incorporated coatings were controlled closely to those of the silicone coatings alone, thus minimising their contribution to antifouling. The bacterial attachment studies indicated that all capsaicin-incorporated coatings exhibited initial enhancement in antibacterial performance as compared to coatings containing no capsaicin. However, due to the fast leaching of capsaicin and the adverse effect of the increase surface roughness upon water immersion, the antibacterial effectiveness for capsaicin incorporated coatings only exhibited for a short period of time.
Nguyen Don Hieu, Nguyen Anh Nghia, Vu Thi Quynh Chiand Phan Thanh Dung
A total of 38 isolates of Corynespora cassiicola collected from rubber trees and other hosts including papaya (Papaya carica), Ecdysanthera rosea, wild mango (Irvingia malayana), white pumpkin (Benincasa cerifera) and sesame (Sesamum indicum) from different regions of Vietnam were studied for genetic diversity analysis using ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (rDNA ITS) sequencing and inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. A single nucleotide polymorphism at the 135th base (Cytosine/Thymine) of the rDNA-ITS regions differentiated 38 studied isolates into two groups. Meanwhile, 88 DNA bands amplified by eight ISSR primers also generated a phylogenetic tree which clustered the studied isolates into two main groups. This was harmonious from that differentiated using the sequence of rDNA-ITS. Four of these studied isolates representing two genetic clusters and hosts were subjected to pathogenicity test using detached leaf assay and artificial inoculation in glasshouse on plantlets of seven rubber clones, white pumpkin and papaya. These isolates showed different virulence on these hosts, which was displayed by the variation in the percentage disease intensity (PDI) and average infection score (AIS). Though belonging to the same genetic cluster, C. cassiicola isolated from papaya was avirulent to white pumpkin, whereas the isolate from white pumpkin was virulent to papaya. Isolates from white pumpkin and papaya were virulent to all tested rubber clones. It seemed that the genetic relationship among isolates depends on the geographical region rather than the host source.
Mohd Bijarimi, Sahrim Ahmad and Rozaidi Rasid
Although poly (lactic acid) (PLA) is among widely used biodegradable polymers, it has limited applications due to its inherent brittleness, low elongation at break and toughness. Blending with natural rubber (NR) and epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) seems to be a promising alternative, as both materials are derived from renewable resources. Natural rubber was melt-blended with poly (lactic acid) in an internal mixer, Haake Rheomix, with a rotor speed of 50 r.p.m. at 180ºC. Liquid epoxidised natural rubber (LENR) was used as a compatibiliser in the binary blending system of thermoplastic natural rubber (TPNR). Results indicate that the mixing torque value and stabilisation torque value in LENR blends are lower than in blends without the compatibiliser. Various compositions of natural rubber, epoxidised natural rubber and compatibiliser were investigated with respect to the stress-strain behaviour. It was found that the addition of LENR compatibiliser improved the stress at break and Young’s modulus in the blend system of 40/60 PLA/rubber compositions. The increase in stress at break and Young’s modulus were associated with the ability of LENR to compatibilise the PLA/NR binary blends.
S.N. Jamal, A. Samsuri and M.A. Ahmad
Rubber-to-metal bonded products find wide applications in the automotive industry where they are used as rubber springs. These products are exposed to heat, oil and water either deliberately or unintentionally during service. Studies were conducted to evaluate the peel strength of the rubber-to-metal bonded samples after they were subjected to oil immersion, heat ageing and water absorption. The vulcanisation systems and polarity of the rubber influenced the peel strength and durability of rubber-to-metal bonded samples. The conventional sulphur system gave higher peel strength and durability than the efficient vulcanisation (EV) system for both unaged and aged (70ºC/14 days) samples. However, it is polarity of the rubber that is influenced most. The peel strength increased in an increasing order with polarity of the rubber, viz; NR<ENR25<ENR50<NBR because of the enhancement in interaction with the polar metal. The effect of polarity of the rubber on bond strength was marked after the samples were immersed in engine oil for seven days at ambient temperature. The peel strength increased in an increasing order with the polarity of the rubber. Apart from better interaction with the polar metal, polar rubber was more resistant to swelling than the non-polar rubber when immersed in hydrocarbon oil. Within the 30 days period of immersion in distilled water and salt water, there was no sign of deterioration of the peel strength. The amount of water absorbed was relatively low, thus the peel strength was relatively unaffected.
Natinee Lopattananon, Nuttida Wangpradit, Charoen Nakason and Azizon Kaesaman
Thermoplastic vulcanisate (TPV) foams made of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), natural rubber (NR) and polypropylene (PP) were prepared via dynamic vulcanisation and subsequently foamed using a single screw extrusion process. EVA and NR were blended at different compositions by keeping proportion of the rubber part (EVA/NR blend) to PP at 60/40 %wt. Azodicarbonamide was used as a chemical blowing agent. Scanning electron microscopic study was performed to evaluate the foaming behaviour of TPVs and morphology of unfoamed TPVs. Blending EVA alone with PP resulted in low cell density and large cell diameter. However, the cell density increased and cell diameter decreased significantly upon partial replacement of EVA with NR. The bulk density of EVA/NR/PP foams was found to be independent of blend composition. Tensile strength and elongation at break were improved with increased NR content, but these two properties were reduced after heat ageing. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated that thermal stability of the TPV foams was not affected as more EVA in the component rubber was replaced with NR. The present study suggested that the production of light weight and good thermal resistant EVA/NR/PP TPV foams with improved cell structure and strength was obtained with the partial replacement of EVA by 12 %wt NR.
Rasyidah Mohamad Razar and Mohd. Nasaruddin Mohd. Aris
Lignin and cellulose distribution in plant parts of seven Hevea species which are H. brasiliensis (RRIM 3001), H. benthamiana, H. guianensis, H. pauciflora, H.spruceana, H. nitida and H. camargoana were studied to ascertain the pattern of distribution among plant parts, to project total lignin and holocellulose that could be extracted from unused plant parts of the rubber tree during rubber replanting programmes as well as to suggest new planting materials in rubber forest plantation for the purpose of wood harvesting. The study has successfully analysed different distribution patterns among plant parts of Hevea trees, where lignin was found to be of highest concentration in the leaf while holocellulose concentration was highest in clear bole samples. For a 25,000 ha area in rubber forest plantation replanting programme, the estimated amount of lignin combustion energy and ethanol production are 13.34 TJ and 545 million kg respectively, while for the replanting programme in rubber plantation which involves a 20,000 ha area, the estimated amount of lignin combustion energy and ethanol production are 13.94 TJ and 570 million kg, respectively. Since lignin is a co-product of biofuel processes it can be recovered and used for power generation in biofuel production. The study has also recognised H. spruceana and H. benthamiana as possible planting materials for rubber forest plantation since both species have a comparable high biomass weight and high amount of lignin as well as holocellulose in unused plant parts. Immediate future work will focus on investigating optimal methods and conditions for biomass pretreatment, cellulosic hydrolysis and sugar fermentation to yield ethanol.
Kosei Sone, Norie Watanabe, Masao Takase, Takenori Hosaka and Koichiro Gyokusen
It is desirable to supply the rising demand for industrial crop materials without increasing the amount of land cultivated for crops, if possible. Quantitative information about biomass growth and carbon sequestration by crops is fundamental knowledge that can be used to improve crop yield per unit of cultivation area. In the present study, we measured trunk diameter, tree height and biomass of a PB260 clone of the Pará rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis (Willd.) Muell. Arg. The natural rubber from this tree is used mainly to make tyres and is one of the most important industrial crop materials. We also measured the soil carbon in stands that had been planted from two to 20 years earlier in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The biomass of each tree was estimated from the measurement of the trunk diameter and these data were combined with the rubber yield data in order to estimate the amount of carbon sequestered annually by the estate as a whole. The tree biomass growth and rubber yield rates peaked at eight and ten years after planting, respectively. After that point, the tree growth rate declined more rapidly than the rubber yield rate. As a result, the percentage of the tree’s overall biomass composed by rubber consistently increased from 5% in a three year old tree to 40% in a 20 year old tree. The estimated annual carbon sequestered as tree biomass and as rubber were 4.2 tC ha–1 year–1 and 1.9 tC ha–1 year–1, respectively.
K.C. Yong and Asrul Mustafa
Flexible composites based on natural rubber compounds and rubberwood (Heveawood) fibres were prepared using lamination technique. An in-house produced natural latex and lignin blend was used as the adhesive system for this lamination purpose. All composites prepared via this technique had good reinforcing behaviour and strong elastomeric feature. They also showed a medium level of stab resistance strength, especially for the “edged blade” protection class according to the United States-National Institute of Justice (US-NIJ) standard. As a result, this type of laminated composite may find its new potential application for the anti-stab body armour.
Siti Nor Qamarina, M. and Seiichi Kawahara
Magnesium oxide (MgO) nanoparticles were introduced in natural rubber (NR) as an activator to investigate its effect on NR vulcanisates. The MgO nanoparticles were mixed in a ratio of 0−20 p.h.r. before curing at 150ºC. Results of cure time and torque showed that at 12 and 20 p.h.r. loadings, acceptable cure characteristics to that of the control compound, 2 p.h.r. zinc oxide (ZnO) were exhibited. Crosslink density of the vulcanisates, determined by the swelling method confirmed that the MgO nanoparticles intensified the formation of crosslinking. Dispersion of the MgO nanoparticles observed by focused ion-beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that aggregates of complexes distributed throughout the rubber matrix is consistent with the MgO nanoparticle loadings and were well correlated to the mechanical properties achieved. These findings offer an alternative route for vulcanisation formulation of NR.
Shi-Kuan Jiang, Gui-Mei Zhang, Ying Wu, Zi-Hui Meng and Min Xue
In the production process of natural rubber (NR), large quantities of wastewater containing substantial amounts of L-quebrachitol are discharged. To date, published methods of extracting L-quebrachitol from wastewater are still at the laboratory stage. In this study, membrane separation technology was applied to the extraction of L-quebrachitol from wastewater and the experimental parameters were studied in order to determine optimal experimental conditions. Results show that the optimum source material for L-quebrachitol extraction was the serum collected by squeezing the latex coagulum. When this serum was passed through a microfiltration (MF) membrane and two ultrafiltration (UF) membranes, majority of the organic impurities were removed. The resulting ultrafiltrate was concentrated by a nanofiltration (NF) membrane and washed twice. Finally, a new and convenient approach for large scale extraction of L-quebrachitol is proposed combining membrane separation and crystallisation. The output achieved with this approach would be 10 kg per year under laboratory conditions with 99.20% purity. The structure of L-quebrachitol was confirmed by elementary analysis, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy (MS) and single-crystal X-ray diffraction.
A. Mahyao, E.F. Soumahin, C. Koffi, L.F. Coulibaly, A.E.B. N’guessan, C. Kouame and S. Obouayeba
Labour is the principal constraint in rubber cultivation. To solve this problem a study was conducted at smallholdings in Côte d’Ivoire to assess Low Intensive Tapping System (LITS) in comparison to the traditional High Intensive Tapping System (HITS) on clones PB 260 and GT 1. Analyses were based on profitability of LITS and efficiency of agronomic and physiological parameters of rubber trees. Results showed that the more profitable LITS were S/4U d4 ET10% 12/y (GT 1), S/2 d4 ET5% 4/y (PB 260) and S/2 d5 ET5% 10/y (GT 1). Using these systems, the tapper requirement was reduced by 25 to 40% and the land-man ratio increased from 3 to 4 or 5 ha per man. Rubber yield was increased by 22% only for upward tapping of GT 1. In downward tapping of PB 260 and GT 1, rubber yield was of the same order. The impact on production due to the reduction of labour and the increase in stimulation was optimal when the tapper was remunerated by tapping days. Agronomic performance, physiological profiles and TPD incidence were similar or lower compared to HITS. These three tapping systems turned out to be the best alternatives to LITS for these clones.
G.J.O. Atsin, E.F. Soumahin, H.T. Kouakou, L.F. Coulibaly, S.M. Traore, J.Y. Alle, A.E.B. N’guessan, C. Kouame and S. Obouayeba
Rubber cultivation faces the problem of scarcity of skilled tapping labour despite a significant reduction in the tapping intensity owing to latex harvesting technologies. Thus, it is essential to optimise latex harvesting technologies by a greater reduction in the need for tapping labour. To achieve this, a study was conducted on clone PB 260 of Hevea brasiliensis, in Gagnoa, in the centre west of Côte d'Ivoire. Low tapping frequencies (d4, d5 and d6) which are low consumers of tapping labour were compared to the standard (d3) system, which is a high consumer of tapping labour. The results showed that low frequency tapping leads to yield losses per tree by four to 31% compared with standard tapping. These low yield losses however, are compensated by the additional areas that these technologies are able to exploit. Furthermore, low frequency tapping improves yield per tree and per tapping as well as the output of the tapper by 23 to 36% compared with standard tapping. In addition to that, low frequency tapping systems have no significant negative impact on vegetative growth, physiological profile and sensitivity to tapping panel dryness. Therefore, these technologies can be adopted to remedy the shortage of tapping labour in rubber cultivation.
Mohamad Akmal A.R, Siti Nor Qamarina M. and Amir Hashim M.Y.
The effect of filler loading on tensile strength, force at break, modulus, stress-strain relationship and surface morphology of natural rubber latex (NRL) films was studied. Grounded calcium carbonate (GCC) loaded into NRL latex compounds and the results obtained from latex films formed from these compounds, showed that their tensile strength and force at break improved initially but leveled and dropped when the GCC loading is more than 5% in NRL films. Disturbing the filler arrangement in the rubber matrix by scragging the test piece of filled NRL films changed the elastic constant value (C1) of the filled test pieces with a large difference in highly filled films. Expected agglomeration of filler in gloves visualised via the microscopy technique indicated disinclination of GCC to distribute well in NRL films. The discrepancy seen in SEM micrographs between differently filled films could be related to surface roughness of the NRL films. Among filled NRL films, the one containing 20% of GCC had the smoothest appearance in its surface morphology. Micrographs from FIB-SEM techniques show clear clustering of fillers at high dosages in the NRL films.
Ng Chiew Sum
Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is indispensable in analysing the composition of rubber compounds. In the TGA test, a rubber compound is fractionated into four fractions comprising liquid or low melting point solid, polymers, carbon black and mineral fillers. Small sample weight can result in large errors for rubber compounds that are not fully dispersed. Test equipment is expensive and therefore it is not a suitable choice for large numbers of production samples. Density measurement of rubber compound is a viable alternative for a quick test. Both these tests were initially applied to a production line of wet process masterbatch plant and shortcomings of these two methods were enumerated. An alternative testing scheme involving thermogravimetric and solvent extraction has been devised and tested successfully. Samples of the same compound with different weights were tested via Soxhlet solvent extraction, nitrogen pyrolysis and oxygen pyrolysis. The results were combined mathematically and basic equations were derived. Test variability was low and comparable to conventional TGA using microbalance. Results were correlated with elatest density measurements, although the 1:1 unity line correlation was not possible. Assumptions were made on the full incorporation of
low melting point solids, as well as densities of various components and these could explain
the discrepancies observed. Modularisation of TGA test allows for improvements in the component test method. A large number of tests were carried out in a continuous production line turning out carbon black masterbatches.
H.F. Wong, N. Ahmad and K.C. Yong
An economical in-house insulated chamber was developed (coupled with MTS 830 servo-hydraulic machine). This chamber was used to carry out double shear dynamic tests at various temperatures in order to study the effect of crystallisation on natural rubber from –20ºC to room temperature. Dry ice was mixed with solvent inside this insulated chamber to produce cold air so that it can be channelled to the test chamber. The cold air channelled to the test chamber was proven to be able to cool the double shear sample up to –30ºC for half an hour to achieve a steady state condition. The commercial environmental test chamber was used to cool down the said sample to a similar condition. Subsequently, a shear deformation was also applied onto it at various temperatures between –20ºC to room temperature. Shear modulus of all natural rubber based test samples were found by increasing the temperature gradually between the studied temperature ranges. An approximately 20% difference in shear modulus was observed at room temperature and –20ºC. The thermo mechanical effect of cold crystallisation in natural rubber was successfully proven through this comparison study.
Hai-Chao Guo*#, Wen-Bin Wang*, Xue-Hua Luo* and Xiao-Ping Wu*#
The aim of this study was to describe rhizosphere soil microbial community characteristics of rubber plantations varying in soil parent material and years of plantation in Hainan Island, southern China. Soils were taken from rhizosphere of grass field, immature rubber plantation (before tapping) and mature rubber plantation (after tapping) at each of three soil type areas in Hainan Island. Microbial biomass was estimated from the total extractable phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and PLFA profiles were analysed to determine the microbial community structure. Total microbial biomass of soils with shallow marine deposit significantly increased with increasing years of rubber cultivation and declined significantly with increasing years of rubber cultivation of soils with basalt. The ratio of fungi to bacteria (F/B) was significantly higher in rubber plantations than in grass field on soils with the same parent material. Soil organic carbon (C), total nitrogen (N) and total phosphorus (P) were significantly positively correlated with total microbial biomass, bacteria biomass, fungi biomass and actinomycete biomass. The primary difference in the microbial community structure of the 11 soils was between soils with basalt versus soils with granite and shallow marine deposit. Soil total N, total organic C and total P may be important factors influencing the structure of the soil microbial community in this study.
Azlina Bahari, Keng-See Chow, Halimah Alias, Mohd.-Noor Mat-Isa, Kiew-Lian Wan, Nasrul-Hadi Shaffe, Arokiaraj Pappusamy, Zainorlina Mohd Zainuddin and Siti-Zakiah Zailani
A small collection of ESTs was generated from the bark of the rubber tree clone RRIM 2025. Low molecular weight metal-binding proteins, metallothioneins (MTs), were found to be very abundant in the bark gene expression profile. Multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis between three Hevea MTs and other plant MTs identified them as type 2 and type 3 proteins. Semi-quantitative PCR analysis indicated that each MT was differentially expressed between bark, leaves and latex, with the lowest transcript abundance in latex. In latex from ethephon-treated trees, all MT isoforms were induced at four hours after treatment while only one of them showed decreased expression after 24 hours. Our findings indicate the existence of a multiple gene family for Hevea MTs and varying roles played by isoforms derived from different rubber tree tissues.
Wan Md Zin Wan Yunus, Lim Chee Siong, Manroshan, S., Mohd Zobir Hussein, Mohamad Zaki Ab Rahman and Khairul Zaman Mohd Dahlan
Polycaprolactone (PCL) and natural rubber (NR) blends were prepared using a melt blending process, in the absence and presence of an organic peroxide crosslinking agent. The resulting blends were then characterised for their functional groups using Fourier transform infrared analysis (FTIR), surface morphology using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), crosslink degree using gel content measurements, physical properties using tensile measurements and viscoelastic properties using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). FTIR analysis revealed the reduction in C=O stretching and C–O bending of PCL due to crosslinking whereas SEM analysis showed rougher and more irregular surfaces with holes and grooves as well as increasing PCL concentration. Similarly, surfaces with holes after extraction with acetone were also observed using SEM. Gel content experiments showed an increase in gel content of the blends with crosslinking, which reduced with increasing PCL concentration. On the other hand, tensile strength and modulus at 300% increased after crosslinking and PCL concentration. However, the elongation at break after crosslinking showed an opposite increasing effect. DMA showed that crosslinking resulted in a more elastic blend behaviour with an increase in the glass transition temperature, Tg for all blend ratios.
Lim H.M. and Misran M.
Surfactants are normally added to the natural rubber latex system in order to maintain colloidal stability. Surfactants are generally anionic or nonionic in nature. Excessive addition of surfactants to the system will increase overall cost of production and cause problems in processing such as air bubbles contributing to pinhole formation in dried latex films. In this study, two types of surfactants having a chain length of twelve hydrocarbons were added to treated natural rubber latex (NRL). The NRL was partially purified through double centrifugation to remove low molecular weight non-rubber materials present in the latex. Removal of some of the nitrogenous material was indicated by intensity of the FTIR transmittance band at 3,280 cm–1 which diminished after the second centrifugation. Dynamic light scattering measurements showed that the partially purified latex particle size were narrowly poly-dispersed. Surface tension of the latex suspension as a function of increased concentration of SDS and Brij 35 were studied. The range of SDS concentration used was 0.2 – 2.0 mM and 0.002 – 0.011 mM for Brij 35. Surface tension of the latex suspension decreased with increasing surfactant concentration for both types of surfactants. In the same range of surfactant concentrations, the zeta potential magnitude increased in the presence of an anionic surfactant but decreased with the nonionic surfactant.
Dazylah Darji, Yatimah Alias and Fauzi Mohd Som
Biomass from rubberwood has been gaining interest in view of its availability and being relatively economical. However, due to its complex structure, it is difficult to separate biomass using common solvents. The recent application of ionic liquids as a reaction solvent has
offered a new platform for its efficient utilisation. Different particle sizes of biomass in ionic liquid have been investigated to develop an optimum process. Pretreatment involved the biomass being ground into various particle sizes, dissolved in ionic liquid and the resulting mixture stirred at a high temperature in an inert atmosphere. The dissolution rate was dependent on particle size, thus, smaller particles dissolved easily in ionic liquid. Dissolution of rubber biomass was complete in ionic liquid. As an added advantage, the ionic liquid was also highly recoverable. Extracted materials were characterised using FESEM, FTIR and TGA. FESEM results have shown that morphology of the extracted material changed significantly after dissolution. FTIR and TGA are in line with changes in extraction of rubber biomass from the dissolution process.
Guna Sunderi Raju, Mas Rosemal Hakim Mas Haris, A.R. Azura, A. Baharin and N. Kartini
This paper reports preparation, mechanical properties, water uptake and toluene absorbency of biocomposites comprising different loadings of chitosan (CTS) (5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 p.h.r.) into matrixes of ENR50 and LENR50 (high and low molecular weight epoxidised natural rubbers with epoxy content of about 50%, respectively). It is found that the increase in CTS loading increased cure torque, tensile strength and modulus at 100% but there was a decline in cure time and elongation at break for CTS-ENR50 biocomposites. Similar trends were observed for CTS-LENR50 biocomposites except for cure torque and tensile strength, with no significant changes upon increase in CTS loading. SEM micrographs of the tensile-fractured materials showed that at 15 p.h.r. loading, for example, CTS underwent a breakout, indicating good interactions in the CTS-ENR50 biocomposites. TGA data revealed that thermal stability of both CTS-ENR50 and CTS-LENR50 biocomposites remained fairly close to that of their respective unloaded rubber matrix. Results of the water uptake study revealed that increase in CTS loading led to an increase in water uptake of CTS-LENR50 biocomposites, found to be considerably higher at every loading compared with that of CTS-ENR50 biocomposites. Results of the toluene absorbency study revealed that LENR50 is a superior sorbent for toluene compared to ENR50. However, increase in CTS loading led to a decrease in toluene absorbency of both CTS-LENR50 and CTS-ENR50 biocomposites.
E. Sunderasan, Norazreen Abd. Rahman, K.L. Lam, K.L. Yang and M.T. Ong
Natural rubber latex sera have been investigated for anti-proliferative property on cancer cell lines. The present report describes fractionation of latex B- and C-serum using cell viability assay (anti-proliferative activity) as a guide to narrow down on the active constituents. Dialysis of B- and C-serum against distilled water caused some of its constituents to precipitate, then a brief centrifugation separated their fractions – dialysed B-serum precipitate (DBP), dialysed B-serum supernatant (DBS), dialysed C-serum precipitate (DCP) and dialysed C-serum supernatant (DCS). Boiling of B- and C-serum resulted in extensive precipitation; a brief centrifugation separated the boiled B- and C-serum precipitate from their supernatant. Cell viability assay performed on two human cancer-origin cell lines revealed a marked increase in anti-proliferative activity in the dialysed C-serum fractions and in DBP but diminished in DBS as well as in the boiled B- and C-serum fractions. Chromatographic separation of DBP, DCP and DCS followed by cell viability assay will shed light if sub-fractions with further improved anti-proliferative activity are attainable.
F. Saeed, A. Ansarifar, R. J. Ellis and Y. Haile-Meskel
Rubber is viscoelastic in nature and used in a variety of industrial applications. Rubber mounts are used to dampen vibration and shock. Damping, fatigue and dynamic properties of rubber mounts depend to a large extent on chemical ingredients mixed with the rubber. Natural rubber is the most widely used polymer for conventional mounts. Apart from natural rubber, different fillers and rubber chemicals are also present in conventional formulation of rubber mounts. Conventionally, five different classes of chemical curatives are used in rubber industries, which include curing agents, primary and secondary accelerators as well as primary and secondary activators. When chemical curatives are present in excessive amounts in rubber, they migrate to the rubber surface and form a bloomed layer.
In this work, two rubber formulations were used for preparing rubber-to-metal bonded bobbin mounts. The formulations were primarily based on natural rubber with 60 parts per hundred rubber by weight (p.h.r.) precipitated amorphous white silica nanofiller. The surface of silica was pre-treated with bis(3-triethoxysilylpropyl)-tetrasulphane (TESPT) coupling agent to chemically bond silica to the rubber. The rubber was cured primarily by reacting the tetrasulphane groups of TESPT with the rubber chains using a sulphenamide accelerator and the cure was then optimised by adding zinc oxide as an activator. The ratio of the accelerator to activator in one compound was 6 p.h.r./0.3. p.h.r. and the compound showed extensive blooming of the accelerator on the rubber surface when stored at ambient temperature for up to 60 days. However, the blooming was reduced significantly by changing the ratio of the accelerator to activator to 3 p.h.r./2.5. p.h.r., which was subsequently used to prepare a second compound.
Dynamic and static properties of the bobbins were subsequently measured. Both compounds showed very low phase angle (δ) and spring rate ratio Kd /Ks (Kd: dynamic spring rate; Ks: static spring rate). Notably, the compound with the high accelerator to activator ratio had superior aforementioned properties, but the dynamic fatigue life of the bobbin reduced noticeably due to a gradual deterioration of the bond caused by the migration of the accelerator to the bonded interface.
Dayang Habibah Abang Ismawi, Nik Intan Nik Ismail and Shamsul Bahri Abdul Razak
Epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) has good oil resistance and gas barrier properties. Despite a number of superior qualities, one of the drawbacks that limits usage of ENR is its inherent high flammability. Currently, much attention is focused on the use of layered silicates (clay), to produce materials with enhanced flame retardance and superior physical properties.Therefore, in this study, we investigate the effect of nanoclay on the flame behaviour and physical properties of ENR 50. Several tests including limiting oxygen index (LOI), underwriters laboratory (UL-94), tensile strength and morphology characterisation were performed on ENR samples containing three different types of clay. It was found that flame from ENR 50 filled with 10 p.p.h.r. for all types of clay tested could not self extinguish. According to the vertical burning test, UL-94, there is no classification or rating given to such materials. Similarly, the incorporation of clay in ENR did not enhance the LOI value. The improvement in physical and barrier properties of ENR containing C15A indicated that an exfoliated structure was formed in the rubber matrix as supported by the X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results.
Azemi Samsuri and Che Mohd Som Said
The influence of coupling agent (Si69) on heat build-up (HBU) and the resistance to blowout temperature was investigated on vulcanised natural rubber (NR) containing 50 p.p.h.r. of precipitated silica. The amount of Si69 was varied from 1 to 6 parts per hundred of rubber (p.p.h.r.). The HBU increased as the amount of Si69 was increased. The increase in HBU was consistent with increase in hysteresis as the amount of Si69 was increased. Increase in hysteresis with increasing Si69 might be attributed to the breaking of rubber-filler interaction via coupling agent as reflected by the Young’s modulus measurement. Young’s modulus decreased progressively as the applied static loading was increased which might be associated with breaking of the rubber-filler interaction. Concomitantly, the volume fraction of rubber (vr) in the swollen gel also decreased with increasing applied static loading. The vr , in swollen gel increased as the amount of Si69 was increased for both cases before and after subjection to cyclic loading at 10 MPa for 10 cycles, thus indicating the enhancement of rubber-filler interaction with increasing Si69. The blowout temperature measured in the interior of the test piece was about a factor of 2 higher than that recorded at the base of the test piece. The blowout temperature increased as the amount of Si69 was increased due to enhancement of the rubber-filler interaction via coupling agent Si69 as indicated by the increase in vr with increasing Si69 both before and after blowout failure.
Asrul, M., Othman, M., Zakaria, M., and Fauzi, M. S.
Lignin derived from rubberwood was added to natural rubber latex as a filler and its influence in affecting the surface morphology and strength of the resulting films was investigated via scanning electron microscopy, tensile strength measurements and XRD analysis. The SEM results indicated random dispersion of lignin in the unaged lignin filled rubber films, in which most films exhibited rougher and incoherent surfaces in comparison to control rubber films. Upon ageing at 70 °C for seven days, the lignin filled rubber films displayed changes from relatively rougher surfaces to smoother surfaces. Results suggest that the most obvious influence of lignin is the increment in tensile strength. This increment in strength is particularly obvious with lignin filled rubber films at loading of 10 and 12 weight percent. Consequent increase in tensile strength values after ageing is shown by lignin filled rubber films at a 12% loading. The results of crosslink density obtained from stress-strain data infer that the addition of lignin increased chain entanglement in unaged films as indicated by the C2 values. Further analysis using XRD revealed observable changes in the amorphous rubber peak at 2Θ = 18.
Alice John, M.A. Nazeer, Sabu P. Idicula, Vinoth Thomas and Y. Annamma Varghese
An ortet selection programme for selection of elite mother trees of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg) from among the seedlings of the Gough Garden (GG) series viz., GG1,GG 4 and GG 6 of the Prang Besar Isolation (PBIG) gardens in Malaysia was undertaken in a large estate in Central Kerala, South India. The resultant 47 preliminary selections of ortet clones were cloned and evaluated during the first five years of tapping in small scale trials in the same location. The parameters for evaluation were yield and yield components, growth attributes, timber yield, bark anatomical parameters and incidence of leaf diseases. Significant variation was observed for the traits studied. Based on the data on yield, growth and timber characteristics, 11 promising new primary clones were selected. Six clones, viz., KO 27, KO 25, KO 6, KO 9, KO 7 and KO 16 were identified as high rubber yielders. Four clones viz., KO 7, KO 13, KO 22 and KO 31 exhibited a high timber yield potential. Out of the eleven selections, four clones viz., KO 27, KO 7, KO 9 and KO 11 were promising in terms of rubber and timber yield. The superiority of the ortet clones with respect to yield and secondary characters are discussed.
Electron beam irradiation technique was successfully used for the first time in order to crosslink the natural rubber-polyaniline dodecylbenzenesulphonate [NR-PAni.DBSA] blends. Significant increases in crosslink densities of all blends with doses of irradiation up to 200 kGy were obtained and a reasonably high crosslink density level (in the order of 104 mol/cm3) was achieved. All electron beam-irradiated NR-PAni.DBSA blends showed good tensile properties with tensile strength up to about 19.7 MPa. This kind of irradiation induced-crosslink technique at doses up to 200 kGy also did not affect electrical properties after being sufficiently stabilised for at least 24 hours. The irradiated NR-PAni.DBSA blends also exhibited good electrical properties, i.e. a single conductivity percolation threshold and high conductivities up to the order of 10–2 S.cm–1. In other words, there is a good potential of using electron beam irradiation technique to prepare highly crosslinked, electrically conductive NR-PAni.DBSA blends.
F.K. Nornanysya, S.M. Sharifah Aminah and S. Azemi
Unpleasant odour produced by natural rubber, in particular during mastication of Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR 20) is objectionable to some workers. The issue of unpleasant odour of natural rubber has long been raised both by the rubber industry and the public. However, until today there seems to be no effective solution to overcome the problem. In view of this situation, work was initiated to develop Odourless Natural Rubber (ONR). This paper discusses the work to investigate and identify microorganisms that are responsible for unpleasant odour. Samples of odourous cuplumps were taken from the SMR factory of poker win prize in Sungai Buloh. Microorganisms isolated from cuplumps were identified by means of VITEK® 2 System. The odourous compounds produced were collected using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) before being subjected to Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) to analyse the odour. Samples were analysed on a day to day basis for six days to determine the most odourous compounds. The volatile compounds detected at early incubation period were mainly hydrocarbons. Other volatile compounds produced throughout the incubation were low molecular weight compounds such as volatile fatty acids, sulphurous compounds, amino compounds, esters and alcohols. Three different antimicrobial agents were used to suppress the growth of odourous microorganisms during storage of cuplumps before processing. The SPME/GCMS analysis provided experimental evidence that sodium hypochlorite and formaldehyde were able to inhibit the growth of microbes and suppressed the unpleasant odour of rubber. This rubber is now called Odourless Natural Rubber (ONR). Mixing was conducted on ONR to evaluate cure characteristics and physical properties of the vulcanised rubber based on ACS 1 mix formulation. ONR enhanced the cure rate and physical properties such as tensile strength, hardness and resilience which were higher than the control (SMR L).
I. Suhawati, K. Shamsul, I. Ismaliza and A.M. Kamarudin
Sound absorption is any means of reducing the sound pressure by converting it’s energy into heat within a material. The types of sound absorbing materials determine the frequency distribution of noise to be absorbed. Rubber composites as sound insulators were prepared by incorporation of two types of fillers, namely kenaf and calcium carbonate in blends of 50 mole % epoxidised natural rubber (ENR 50) and methyl methacrylate (MMA)-grafted natural rubber latex. A two-microphone impedance tube was used to investigate the sound absorption coefficient value of the composites prepared. Rubber composites exhibited excellent sound absorption properties with sound absorption coefficient values up to 0.87. The presence of kenaf in the composite was found to create void sections during the drying process, hence increasing the absorption coefficient value of the composite. The presence of calcium carbonate that was scattered on the walls of voids had increased stiffness of the composite, providing better absorption of sound waves.
Mazlina Mustafa Kamal and Jane Clarke
The effect of starch addition on the processing and properties of a natural rubber compound was investigated. The starch loading used was varied from 36 p.h.r. to 66 p.h.r. loading. The compound is based on a simple engine mount compound filled with 49 p.h.r. carbon black which corresponds to the same volume loading as 36 p.h.r. of starch. The extent of the adhesion between filler and rubber under different deformation conditions was determined using several simple models such as the Einstein1, Guth-Gold2 and Sato-Furukawa2 models. In general, the study shows relatively poor reinforcement of natural rubber by starch, resulting in low stiffness and strength compared with a compound filled to a similar volume fraction with carbon black. The poor reinforcement is due to its different polarity and large particle size. In spite of that, it is observed that good adhesion can be obtained at strains below 50% elongation, agreeing with the Einstein model of perfect adhesion. However, at a higher strain, poor adhesion leads to debonding of starch from the rubber, resulting in lower stiffness and strength.
C. Sanier, G. Oliver, A. Clément-Vidal, D. Fabre, L. Lardet and P. Montoro
The influence of a water deficit was investigated on in vitro plantlets from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) clone PB 260. The Fraction of Transpirable Soil Water (FTSW) was used to identify three levels of water deficit. Transpiration and stomatal conductance decreased for a FTSW of 0.4 while fluorescence appeared more stable. Proline and ascorbate contents increased from the same level of water deficit. Antioxidant enzyme activities were more stable than glutathione reductase activity, which dramatically increased in line with the water deficit to peak at 0.12 UI/mg for a FTSW of 0.2. When plants were rehydrated, enzyme activities decreased. The accumulation of proline for the lowest FTSW suggested water stress. Antioxidant systems did not play a predominant role for this genotype.
L. Kaenhin, P. Klinpituksa, A. Rungvichaniwat, A. Saetung, J.F. Pilard, I. Campistron and A. Laguerre
Waterborne polyurethane adhesives (WPUAs) were synthesised by an isocyanate terminated polyurethane prepolymer process using 2,2-bis (hydroxymethyl) propionic acid (DMPA) as an internal emulsifier and chain extension by 1,4-diaminobutane. The different characteristic polyols such as hydroxyl terminated natural rubber (HT) with various number average molecular weights (Mn) at 600 (HT600) and 1000 g/mol (HT1000) and epoxidised HT (eHT) with 10 (10eHT) and 37 (37eHT) percentages of epoxidation were synthesised from natural rubber latex (NRL) for preparing the WPUA. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR) techniques were used to characterise the chemical structures. The pH value, mean particle size, viscosity, glass transition temperature (Tg), T-peel strength and lap shear strength of the WPUAs were measured. The WPUAs had pH values of about 7.80 to 8.50. The mean particle size of the WPUAs depended on the DMPA content. At higher DMPA content, a smaller mean particle size was obtained. The Tg of WPUAs exhibited the same trend values of HT and eHT. T-peel strength and lap shear strength of adhesives were measured by bonding of leather to leather. It was found that WPUA600 and WPUA1000 showed good adhesion. Thus, HT and eHT prepared from NRL can be used to prepare WPUA for the footwear industry.
Nur Syazwani Abd Rahman and Baharin Azahari
Calcium hydroxide dispersion was prepared by reacting calcium chloride (CaCl2) with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), at room temperature for one hour. The resulting dispersion was added to prevulcanised natural rubber latex compound in different amounts. The effects of calcium hydroxide loading on the viscosity of the prevulcanised latex, the crosslinking density of the latex films, tensile properties and tear strength of normal, leached and aged coagulant dipped films were investigated. Results showed that viscosity of the compound decreased when calcium hydroxide was added. The modulus at 100% elongation and at 300% elongation increased with calcium hydroxide loading. The tensile and tear strengths increased up to 10 p.h.r. of calcium hydroxide loading and then decreased again. The elongation at break, on the other hand, was not significantly affected by calcium hydroxide loading. The normal films showed properties in between that of the leached and aged films. SEM micrographs showed formation of agglomerates as calcium hydroxide content was increased.
M.Y. Amir-Hashim, R. Roslim, and M.W. Rosni
Natural rubber (NR) latex concentrate of the Hevea brasiliensis species is used to fabricate a seedling bag using a typical latex dipping process. The latex film from the bag demonstrated excellent physical properties such as strength and stiffness, to form the intended product. Incorporating non rubber materials such as calcium carbonate, corn starch or fertilizer into the bag, increased the stiffness of the latex film with reduction in its strength properties. Under natural environmental conditions, the physical properties of the film started to show reduction after two months buried in soil. Substantial reduction in weight of the films was due to NR latex biodegradation expected to occur readily during the soil burial. The degradation of the film surface was observed from FESEM micrographs as cracks and cavities at the degraded area. The added non rubber material as filler, namely corn starch and fertilizer, further amplified the biodegradation rate of the film, while ground calcium carbonate slowed down the biodegradation process of the film. The study confirmed NR latex is a suitable alternate choice to synthetic materials as seedling bag base material. The NR latex seedling bag is in fact an environmentally friendly seedling bag which is able to retain the physical performance while in use and able to self-decompose under soil burial.
E. Sunderasan, Badrul Ezam Badaruddin, Azlina Azharuddin and P. Arokiaraj
Agrobacterium mediated genetic transformation was performed on anther callus of Hevea cultivar GL1 with a gene encoding human atrial natriuretic factor (HANF), a peptide-hormone that is involved in regulating cardiac blood pressure. The gene constructs containing four different lengths of the indigenous hevein promoter, also incorporated the marker nptII for selection of transformants. Thus far 28 plants were regenerated and their bud-grafted generations were successfully transferred to the soil; all transformants tested positive for the promoter-transgene inserts. The presence of the HANF transcript in leaf samples was detected by RT-PCR in a number of original transformants and their vegetative generations, and the authenticity of the amplicon was confirmed by nucleotide sequencing. Polyclonal anti-atrial natriuretic peptide detected a band in the low molecular weight region in Western-immunoblot of leaf protein of an original transformed plant, while MALDI TOF-TOF and database searches of the corresponding protein band on SDS-gel revealed matches to atrial natriuretic peptide in the C-terminus of HANF.
Mercykutty Joseph and P. Sureshkumar
A study to assess the movement and incorporation of phosphorus from applied source in rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell Arg.) trees was conducted. Radioactive phosphorus (32P) was applied to mature rubber either through root feeding or by soil injection. The radioactive phosphorus could be traced in the leaves, bark and latex indicating that the applied phosphorus was absorbed immediately by the tree. 32P activity in the different plant parts of three categories of trees viz., normal, partially dry and completely dry were compared. No significant difference between the three groups was recorded in the 32P activity in the leaves on the 15th day of application. However, accumulation to a phenomenal extent was noted in the partially dry and completely dry trees with advancement of time, indicating non translocation to the site of latex biosynthesis and that the phosphorus movement to the sink is demand driven. In the bark on the 30th and 45th day of sampling, no radioactive phosphorus could be traced in the normal and partially dry trees while in the completely dry trees, 32P activity was recorded indicating lack of metabolic utilisation for the synthesis of latex. In the latex, 32P activity was recorded on the 20th day in all the three categories of trees. However, on the 30th and 45th day, no 32P activity was recorded in the completely dry trees indicating non utilisation of phosphorus from applied source for latex biosynthesis and regeneration. The study indicated that in the TPD affected trees, the xylem and phloem transport mechanism is active up to the laticiferous system but the latex biosynthesis and regeneration is affected or impaired.
Blends of poly(butadiene-co-acrylonitrile) [NBR] and polyaniline dodecylbenzenesulphonate [PAni.DBSA] with electrical conductivities up to 10–1 S.cm–1, have been successfully prepared using the technique of solution mixing and casting. Compatibility of both NBR and PAni.DBSA was found to be maximised by the introduction of hydroquinone as a compatibiliser. Blends prepared with added hydroquinone exhibited the lowest electrical conductivity percolation threshold and were more conductive than the ones without any compatibiliser. Transmission electron micrographs of blends with added compatibiliser showed the lowest level of phase separation. FT-IR spectra and DSC thermal of blends with added compatibiliser also showed the largest peak and temperature shifts, respectively. These phenomenons occured due to the higher intermolecular interactions between the two blended polymers in the presence of hydroquinone.
H.M. Lim, K. Vivayganathan and M.Y. Amir-Hashim
Increasing price of raw materials and operational cost have triggered glove manufacturers to produce gloves with fewer amounts of material while meeting the minimum requirements for the intended application. Examination gloves in particular, are getting thinner from approximately 7 to 9 grams to 3 to 5 grams. In this study, the physical properties of latex films made from carboxylated acrylonitrile butadiene latex (XNBR), a typical base material for an examination glove, are assessed to elucidate any differences due to the thickness of the film. XNBR latex films of different thicknesses were prepared at a laboratory scale. The XNBR latex was compounded with a varying dosage of zinc oxide (ZnO) to vary the expected ionic crosslink density of the films. The mechanical properties of these films were evaluated. This study confirmed that with increasing loading of ZnO, the physical properties specifically, the tensile strength and the modulus values increased, while the extension tended to be lower and tear strength poorer. As expected, the thicker films had higher physical properties compared with thinner ones. Although heat ageing may not affect XNBR films much, results indicated that XNBR films subjected to accelerated ageing showed higher tensile strength with lower elongation at break value than the unaged films. Crosslink density was estimated using the equilibrium swelling method. The role of ZnO is clear in XNBR film formation as the overall crosslink density of XNBR-ZnO film increased with increased amounts of ZnO. However, there is no clear relationship between the physical properties and the estimated crosslink density in this study.
T.U. Wimalagunasekara, Jagath C. Edirisinghe and W. Wijesuriya
Farmers’ individual choices relating to agronomic practices are influenced by socio economic factors related to the farmer and his family as well as physical factors relating to the farm. Many studies that investigate these choices fail to recognise the importance of neighbours’ influence on decision making. This research attempted to determine whether there exists a relationship between one farmer’s choice and the choices of the neighbouring farmers in adoption of fertiliser recommendations in rubber cultivation of a sample of 393 smallholder farmers in one of the non-traditional rubber growing districts in Sri Lanka. Major aims of the research were to explicitly model spatial relationships in adoption of fertiliser application in rubber cultivation and to identify the factors that influence them. Bayesian Spatial Autoregressive Probit (SARP) model was used in the study. The neighbours’ influence was measured in terms of a spatial correlation coefficient. Results revealed that the spatial correlation coefficient was positive and statistically significant, implying a strong influence by neighbours on a decision by a particular farmer. The results also highlighted the importance of socio economic factors and soil characteristics in adopting these practices.
K.L. Lam, K.L. Yang, Y.L. Chai, T.W. Chow, M.T. Ong and E. Sunderasan
Hevea brasiliensis latex sera are being investigated for anticancer property. In the present cell-based assay, whole latex B- and C-sera were shown to be largely ineffective against human B lymphocytes, of both cancer origin (BDCM) and non-cancer origin (Bristol 8); albeit slight dip in cell viability were discerned at high concentrations (>100 μg/mL) of whole C-serum, and (>200 μg/mL) of whole B-serum. Interestingly, the antiproliferative activity improved in the retentate of dialysed C-serum, the increment however was more prominent in the dialysed C-serum precipitate (DCP) compared to the dialysed C-serum supernatant (DCS). DCP also showed a marginally higher specificity against BDCM (LC50 = 55.95 μg/mL) compared to Bristol 8 (LC50 = 75.62 μg/mL). However in the treatments with the retentate of dialysed B-serum, both BDCM and Bristol 8 cells remained unaffected.
Four scaffold linkage maps were constructed for clones PB 5/51, IAN 873, RRIM 937 and RRIM 600 and two consensus maps (PB 5/51 X IAN 873 and RRIM 937 X RRIM 600) using AFLP markers. The loci for clones PB 5/51 and IAN 873 were spread across 18 linkage groups, corresponding to the basic chromosome number of Hevea (n = 18) and cover between 269.6 cM to 272.3 cM, respectively. The average marker densities for these two clones were 4.4 to 4.5 cM per marker. Meanwhile, the coverage for clones RRIM 937 and RRIM 600 spanned 15 to 12 linkage groups respectively, with marker density between 4.7 cM for RRIM 937 and 11.3 cM for RRIM 600. The linkage groups for maps of clones RRIM 937 and RRIM 600 did not have the basic chromosome number of 18, because this population showed inbreeding in which RRIM 600 was a reoccurring parent in the population.
A.R. Ruhida and M.Y. Amir-Hashim
Natural rubber latex (NRL) gloves are generally accepted for their superior mechanical
properties compared to synthetic gloves in many applications. However, their tolerance to
polar solvents and oils is relatively poor. This study demonstrated improvement in tolerance
of NR towards oils by introducing more crosslinks in NRL gloves. This was done by increasing
sulphur content in the NRL latex mixture from which gloves were prepared. Evidence of better
tolerance can be deduced from the much reduced mass uptake of oil into highly crosslinked
NRL films and the lower diffusion rate of oil in the NRL films. The mass uptake of oil in NRL
films can also be reduced by blending nitrile latex (XNBR) with NRL latex.
P. H. Sarath Kumara*#, A.K.D. Warnajith Prasad** and V. Chandima Rohanadeepa**
Low ammonia (LA) centrifuged latex of higher volatile fatty acid (VFA) values was blended
with that of lower values at different blend ratios. The most important latex characteristics of
these blends, namely VFA number, KOH number and MST were tested over a period of time at
regular intervals. It was found that centrifuged latex with different VFA values could be blended
to obtain a predetermined intermediate VFA value in the final blend. VFA number in the blends
as well as in the two unblended latex samples increased gradually after an induction period of
40-50 days. The rate of increase of VFA number was more pronounced in the blends containing
higher proportions of high VFA centrifuged latex. A formula was proposed to estimate the
VFA number of the final latex blend using the VFA numbers of the initial components of the
latex blend. The same formula could be used to estimate the quantity of latex from each latex
component to be blended to obtain a targeted VFA value in the final latex blend. After an
initial high rate of increase of KOH number in the blends prepared from fresh latex, the rate
of increase reduced drastically to almost zero with the increase of maturity. The development
of mechanical stability time (MST) of the blends over time was observed to be at par with the
development of KOH number barring few exceptions.
Ismaliza Ismail and Julia Gough
A Finite Element (FE) study of the behaviour of concrete blocks compressed against rubber
sheets was conducted. The results were compared to experimental tests of the same assembly
reported in literature. It was found that tensile stresses developed within the concrete due to
non-uniform compression of the rubber and were likely to have been the cause of failure of
the concrete except where the rubber sheet was very thin or absent. The effect disappeared if
contact between the rubber and concrete was frictionless.
A.S. Siti Nuraya, A. Baharin, A.R. Azura, M.H. Mas Rosemal Hakim, I. Mazlan, M. Adnan and A.A. Nooraziah
This study investigates the effect of incorporating banana stem powder, surface modified with
2% of sodium hypochlorite solution, as a reinforcing filler on the properties of natural rubber
latex (NRL) compound and its films. Increasing the banana stem powder loading did not affect
much of the swelling index of the latex films but slightly increased the moduli [modulus at
100% (M100) and 300% (M300) elongations] of the latex films. Tensile strength and elongation
at break of the latex films showed some reduction with the increase in the banana stem powder
loading. The tear strength of the NRL films containing the banana stem powder is higher than
the tear strength of the unfilled prevulcanised NRL films. In comparison with other commercial
fillers, calcium carbonate and colloidal silica, banana stem powder produced prevulcanised
NRL films of comparable mechanical properties.
Rui-Feng Ma, Li-Feng Wang, Shi-Qing Peng and Wei-Min Tian
To gain a deeper understanding of jasmonate signaling in specific tissues, three of full-length
cDNAs, referred to as HbCUL1, HbSKP1 and HbRBX1 were isolated from laticifers of rubber
tree by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) method and analysed by sequence
analysis and real-time RT-PCR. The putative proteins, HbCUL1, HbSKP1 and HbRBX1, had
specific domains of CULLIN superfamily and Cullin Nedd8, Skp1-POZ and Skp1, and RING
superfamily, respectively. HbCUL1 and HbSKP1 were most related to AtCUL1 and AtASK1
among the members of Cullins and ASKs from Arabidopsis, respectively. Methyl jasmonate
was more effective than ethylene on up-regulating the expression of HbCUL1, HbSKP1 and
HbRBX1. These data suggest that HbCUL1, HbSKP1 and HbRBX1 may be the invariant
components of SCFCOII complex of jasmonate signaling in laticifers of rubber tree.
Azemi bin Samsuri
Vulcanised unfilled natural rubbers containing different quantities of oil were prepared. The amount of oil was varied from 5, 10, 25, 35 and 40 p.p.h.r. The oil was later extracted by means of hot-acetone extraction. Simple extension tests were conducted to determine the elastic constants C1 and C2 before and after acetone extraction. The elastic constant C1 decreased with increasing amounts of oil due to the dilution effect. After the oil had been fully extracted, the elastic constant C1 also decreased in the order of increasing oil initially present in the rubber. Statistical theory of rubber elasticity was referred to explain the phenomenon. It was found that the Tg of the rubber was not affected very much by aromatic oil but was affected significantly by paraffinic oil. The Tg decreased with increasing amounts of paraffinic oil present in the rubber. After acetone extraction, the Tgs of the vulcanisates were the same. Tensile strength of unfilled NR did not show much difference before and after acetone extraction. In contrast, tearing energy of vulcanised black-filled NR was significantly affected by oil extraction. This work has important practical issues since the loss of oil through slow evaporation may affect the stiffness of the rubber component. In rubber engineering applications, consistency in stiffness is very important in service performance.
A. Thitithammawong, N. Ruttanasupa and C. Nakason
Chlorinated epoxidised natural rubber (CENR) was synthesised using epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) in its latex state with an in-situ chloride ion generating substance. The influences of the molar ratios of sodium hypochlorite/sodium chloride (NaOCl/NaCl), pH and the concentration of the NaOCl/NaCl, and reaction time on the level of chlorine contents in the CENR molecules were investigated. FTIR observation showed the presence of a C-Cl band in the rubber structure upon chlorination of the ENR by mixing it with NaOCl and NaCl. The thermogravimetric analysis proved that chlorination provided the CENR with superior thermal stability than that of the ENR. The CENR latex was then formulated and compounded to prepare a latex-based adhesive. It was found that crosslink reactions generated by different vulcanisation systems caused different adhesive strengths in terms of shear strength and cleavage peel strength. Furthermore, the adhesive exhibited higher shear strength than the commercial grade adhesives (i.e., Contact® and Dragon®) where comparable peel strengths were obtained. However, both properties were relatively lower when compared with Diabond®.
A.N. Kamaruddin, A. Ansarifar, F. Saeed, Y. Haile-Meskel and R. J. Ellis
Three commercial paraffin waxes (carbon numbers 20-40) and one alkyl-aryl-p-phenylene-diamine antiozonant were mixed individually with natural rubber to produce rubber compounds. The compounds contained a precipitated amorphous white silica nanofiller the surface of which was pre-treated with bis(3-triethoxysilylpropyl-)tetrasulphane (TESPT). The rubber compounds were cured via the tetrasulphane groups of TESPT by adding a sulphenamide accelerator and zinc oxide. The viscosity, cure properties, hardness, tensile strength, elongation at break, stored energy density at break, Young’s modulus, modulus at different strain amplitudes, tear strength and cyclic fatigue life of the rubber vulcanisates were measured. The viscosity, scorch time and rate of cure increased, but the optimum cure time decreased when the waxes and antiozonant were added to the rubber. The highest tensile strength, stored energy density at break, modulus at different strain amplitudes and the longest cyclic fatigue life were measured for the vulcanisate with the antiozonant. The rubber vulcanisate containing one of the waxes had the highest tear strength.
T. Z. Zaeimoedin and K.C. Yong
Comparisons related to rheological studies on various types of raw rubber and rubber compound by using the capillary rheometer are still very limited. In this work, rheological testing was performed on both natural rubbers (various Standard Malaysian Rubber grades) and some market available common types of synthetic rubber (styrene butadiene rubber, ethylene propylene diene copolymer, nitrile rubber and isoprene rubber) in order to assess their processability and rheological behaviours. Four different kinds of testing instrument were utilised for comparison purposes, i.e. a capillary rheometer, a Mooney viscometer, a rubber process analyser and an internal mixer (in terms of breakdown index). These tests were based on three different types of rubber formulation, i.e. raw rubber, International Standard Organisation (ISO) gum mix and ISO black mix. Based on the test results, capillary rheometer was identified as the best instrument for processability and rheological behaviours testing (for both natural and synthetic rubbers) due to its ability to perform measurements under the widest regime of true shear rate which had covered all the actual rubber processing conditions.
A.I.C. Nyaka Ngobisa, M.A. Zainal Abidin, M.Y. Wong and M.M. Murnita
Leaf blight caused by Fusicoccum sp. is becoming a serious canopy disease of rubber trees in Malaysia. Despite its increasing significance, information regarding the biology of the causal fungus is scarce. This study provides morphological data useful for its characterisation. Fungal isolates obtained from leaf samples collected from several rubber plantations in Selangor, Johor and Perak were compared in terms of their behaviour in various cultural media potato dextrose agar (PDA), Czapex-dox agar (CDA), corn meal agar (CMA) and malt extract agar (MEA). Furthermore, their incidence on rubber leaves was assessed. In all media and different pH tested, significant differences were observed in spore production, dimension of conidiomata and growth rates among isolates. On PDA, pH 6 supported the best growth compared to other media used. The growth rate was 16.8 mm/day on PDA and MEA, against 14.4 mm / day on CDA and 11.4 mm/day on CMA. The highest spore production (161.33 X 106 spores / mL) was obtained on PDA. The optimum temperature for spore germination in water agar was 24ºC - 28ºC within a period of eight hours. All fungal isolates tested were pathogenic to H. brasiliensis but showed variation in symptoms
Nurul Hayati Yusof, Fauzi Mohd Som and Ma’zam Md Said
Preparation of silica-ENR masterbatch via latex stage was carried out with different loadings of silica added into ENR 25 latex. Four methods namely stirring; stirring and heat; stirring and acid; and stirring, acid and heat, were used to coagulate the silica-ENR latex mixture. Stirring and stirring and heat were found to be the most suitable methods to coagulate silica-ENR latex mixture compared to stirring and acid. Stirring, acid and heat was not suitable for the mixture coagulation. The resulting masterbatches were subjected to analysis via FTIR spectroscopy, Mooney viscosity and FESEM. FTIR spectrum showed an interaction that occurred with the presence of hydrogen bond between the precipitated silica and ENR 25. The viscosity of silica-ENR masterbatch increased with increasing loading of silica dispersion. Lower viscosity was obtained for coagulation of silica-ENR with heat compared to other methods used. Silica-ENR mixtures coagulated with acid gave higher viscosity compared to silica-ENR mixtures without acid. Evidence by FESEM technique showed that silicas were well distributed in the rubber matrix by preparation of silica-ENR masterbatch via latex stage.
N.A. Jamal, H. Anuar and A.R. Shamsul Bahri
Improving the mechanical properties of high density polyethylene (HDPE)/ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) matrix is the main target of developing HDPE/EPDM filled organophilic montmorillonite (OMMT). Both HDPE/EPDM matrix and HDPE/EPDM
filled OMMT were first prepared via intercalation technique at different OMMT loadings.
Two types of crosslinking techniques were applied namely, maleic anhydride polyethylene (MAPE) and electron beam (EB) irradiated systems. The effectiveness of MAPE and EB irradiation crosslinkings were then compared with control and analysed based on the mechanical tests and morphological examination. The mechanical tests revealed that
control, MAPE and EB irradiated systems had attained the optimum mechanical properties
at 4 vol% OMMT content. EB irradiation absorbed dose of 100 kGy showed excellent
mechanical properties with higher crosslinking degree is proved by gel content analysis. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed the existence of delamination of OMMT by MAPE and EB irradiation techniques based on disappearance of the characteristic peak. The degree of delamination was further investigated by transmission electron microscope (TEM).
Nik Intan Nik Ismail and Devaraj Veerasamy
Skim latex concentrate (SLC) is being evaluated as a new value-added raw material to produce wet masterbatch with nano dispersed layered clay or montmorillonite (MMT). Raw skim latex (SL) is a by product obtained during the centrifugation process to concentrate field latex into latex concentrate (LC). Skim latex is subsequently concentrated to SLC by the environmentally-friendly ultrafiltration membrane separation method. The aim of this study is to utilise the uniqueness of SLC based on its uniform and narrow particle size distribution and higher protein content compared to the centrifuged latex concentrate. Increase of vulcanisation rates of the nanocomposite was observed when control material, namely centrifuged LC, was replaced with skim latex concentrate. In addition, both the maximum torque and delta torque were raised with increasing filler contents up to
10 p.h.r. The vulcanised properties such as tensile strength, modulus, tear strength, hardness and compression set were also found to have improved. Furthermore, there was a reduction of 18% to 29% in air permeability for rubber clay nanocomposites prepared from SLC compared to the neat NR skim rubber. It is believed that the improvement in mechanical and barrier properties observed is partly related to the homogeneous dispersion of the layered clay within the smaller and more uniform latex particles in the NRSLC as examined by microscopy techniques.
A. Thitithammawong, S. Srangkhum and A. Rungvichaniwat
Hydroxytelechelic natural rubber (HTNR), a chemically modified form of natural rubber which can be used as a polyol precursor in the elaboration of natural rubber based polyurethane was synthesised. In this study, the effects of different types of starting materials including natural rubber (NR) and epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) on properties of HTNR were explored. Two steps of controlled methodology were applied. The first oxidative degradation step using periodic acid yielded carbonyltelechelic natural rubbers (CTNRs) having similar chemical structures as proven by 1H-NMR and FTIR analysis. However, they were different in carbonyl content, percent yield and molecular weight, as well as in appearance. The results suggest different degradation mechanisms occurring in NR and ENR. The HTNRs were later prepared in a second step by reduction of the CTNRs with sodium borohydride followed by hydrolysis with cool water. Using the ENR-based CTNR as intermediate in the second step provided the HTNR with hydroxyl content, percent yield, OH-value higher than that using the NR-based CTNR, whereas molecular weight and acid number were lower. These meant that the ENR was more suitable than NR to be selected for production of HTNR.
F. Oktavia, M. Lasminingsih and Kuswanhadi
Information about genetic diversity of a population is essential in breeding programmes. Characterisation of rubber germplasm for providing genotype diversity can be accomplished by morphological or genotypic assessment. The objective of this study was to obtain information about the genetic diversity of rubber based on DNA analysis. The random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique was used as a tool for assessing diversity and the genetic relationships among 41 wild germplasms and 45 cultivated clones of rubber. DNA polymorphisms among germplasm were scored in binary form based on the presence (1) and absence (0) of each band. A dendogram was assembled through a UPGMA cluster analysis using the NTSys programme. From the RAPD analysis using 14 random primers, a total of 86 polymorphic amplified products (81.9 % total) were obtained from both populations, wild germplasm and cultivated clones, with the levels of polymorphic fragments ranging from 66.7% to 88.9%. The level of polymorphism of the wild germplasm was higher than the cultivated clones. The dendrogram showed that the 86 accessions were separated into five clusters with different degrees of genetic similarity, while the wild germplasm was separated from the cultivated clones with a genetic similarity of 0.56. This information could be used as a guide in the selection of wild germplasms for enlarging the genetic resource in rubber breeding programmes.
H. Anuar, N.A. Jamal and A.R. Shamsul Bahri
Nanocomposites are materials created by introducing nanoparticulates commonly referred to as a filler into the matrix. Blends of polypropylene (PP)/ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM)/montmorillonite (MMT) were treated by compatibiliser maleic anhydride polypropylene (MAPP) and irradiated using an electron beam. The effects on mechanical properties for both samples were compared with the untreated nanocomposites. The effects of montmorillonite clay loading on mechanical properties of PP/EPDM/MMT were investigated. The d-spacings of the clay in nanocomposites were examined using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and the extent of delamination was observed by a transmission electron microscope (TEM).
Nor-Hidayaty, K.*#, Shamsul, K.*, Asrul, M.* and Ahmad-Nazir, K.
Two types of deproteinised natural rubber, one having an anionic surfactant (DPNR-A) and the other a fructan based surfactant (DPNR-B) are introduced in the present study and compared to commercial deproteinised natural rubber (DPNR-C) and conventional Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR). Comparisons were made in relation to their curing behaviour, physical properties, crosslink density and dynamic load analysis. The results revealed that
the characteristics and behaviour of DPNR were mostly similar with those of the SMR.
However, certain properties such as the dynamic properties were shown to be better than those of SMR. The best damping behaviour was observed in DPNR which incorporated anionic surfactant during its processing. From the dynamic analysis results, DPNR is shown to be a potential material for rubber engineering components and in particular for automotive applications.
K.S. Tan*# and J. Riley**
One dimensional (1-D) sodium titanate nanoparticles have been synthesised using a hydrothermal reaction. The photocatalytic properties of natural rubber (NR) based nanocomposite containing sodium titanate are presented. Rhodamine B (RhB) was used as the target organic material for photocatalysis studies. The degradation of RhB molecules was monitored using a fluoremeter, based on the fluorescent emission counts of RhB sample solution subjected to ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation. The nanocomposite was photocatalytically active and the RhB degradation efficiency largely depends on the crystal phase of titanates and the distribution of photocatalysts on the NR surface.
Sulphur-vulcanised epoxidised natural rubber [ENR]-carbon black printex XE2B blends with high electrical conductivities (up to 10–1 S.cm–1), exhibiting good tensile properties and high damping were successfully prepared by using an internal mixer. Effect of carbon black’s surface area and structure on electrical behaviour was studied for the vulcanised blends by testing them through a series of straining cycles (i.e. a total of 900 times of strain loading and unloading process). Carbon black printex XE2B particles with ‘hollowed out’ shape and higher surface area were observed by using a transmission electron microscope. The carbon black printex XE2B characteristics contributed to the very low percolation threshold (i.e. 3.0 wt % of printex XE2B loading) and also the reproducible electrical conductivity of its blend under straining process (≥95% retention of original unstrained value). With good mechanical properties and reproducible electrical behaviour, the sulphur-vulcanised ENR-carbon black printex XE2B blends (with printex XE2B loadings, 5.0–40.0 wt %) have potential to be used as a raw material for manufacturing flexible smart sensor devices.
Kavitha K. Mydin*#, Vinoth Thomas* and V.C. Mercykutty*
Twenty clones comprising 15 of the RRII 400 series, one introduced Prang Besar clone, one tetraploid and three clones with normal morphotype (derived from the progeny of the
compact canopy type variant) were evaluated in large scale evaluation trials over a period of 16 years. The components of variance for yield in two virgin panels, growth and structural attributes, heritabilities of traits and their correlations were studied. Rubber yield which stabilised by the fourth year of tapping and yield per unit girth emerged as highly heritable traits with girth, girth increment at immaturity and the number of latex vessel rows being important clonal characteristics, showing positive correlations with yield in the two virgin panels.
Clones RRII 430, RRII 417, RRII 422 and RRII 414 maintained superiority in rubber yield over the high yielding check, RRII 105 over eight years of tapping, justifying their release for wide scale planting in the traditional rubber growing regions of India. Clones RRII 417, RRII 422 and RRII 430 were distinctly superior to RRII 105 in terms of rubber yield per unit girth. These three clones also exhibited wind fastness. Among the promising yielders, clones RRII 414, RRII 422 and RRII 52 maintained high summer yields. Clone RRII 430 recorded a comparatively low incidence of pink disease. PB 330 proved to be a moderately high yielding clone with a rising yield trend and very high timber yield potential. Clones RRII 429 and RRII 422 were superior for the number of laticifers in the bark.
P.M. Sabura Begum, Rani Joseph and K.K. Mohammed Yusuff
Zinc oxide (ZnO) of nanometer particle size was prepared by precipitation and solid state pyrolytic method. TEM, XRD and the surface area studies showed that zinc oxide prepared in the laboratory has a particle size in the nanometer range and a high surface area. This nano zinc oxide was used as an activator in non-polar synthetic rubber compounds. The cure characteristics and mechanical properties were compared with that containing conventional zinc oxide. It is found that a low dosage of zinc oxide was enough to give equivalent curing and mechanical properties compared to the one containing a higher dosage of conventional zinc oxide.
Dayang Habibah Abang Ismawi Hassim, Mazlina Mustafa Kamal, Rohaidah Abd. Rahim and Che Su Mt Saad
Recycled gloves can be used as a cheapener to make conventional rubber products. In this study, the feasibility of reclaimed NBR gloves (r-NBRG) in thermoplastic vulcanisates (TPVs) based on nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) and polypropylene (PP) blend using the injection moulding process was investigated. The NBR based TPV obtained from this process has many advantages compared to conventional rubber products. Among the outstanding advantages are the ability of TPV to be recycled easily and the higher value-added products obtained from TPV as compared to vulcanised rubber products. This paper will describe the effect of r-NBRG as a partial replacement for virgin NBR on the properties of the TPV system. The curing systems selected were based on the sulphur-accelerated curing system and peroxide curing system. The results indicate potential reduction in production costs with the possible replacement of up to 70 p.p.h.r. virgin NBR with r-NBRG in the TPV systems.
Wong Hon Fei, Kamarudin Ab Malek and Ismaliza Binti Ismail
The base isolation method using seismic natural rubber bearings has been successfully used to protect structures from earthquakes. This technology not only protects the structures but also its contents and is therefore significant for critical buildings such as hospitals and emergency centres. However, the current design of the seismic rubber bearings require a huge quantity of steel plates which could account for up to 60% of the production cost. In this paper a study on the use of wire gauze which is economically viable in comparison to steel plates is described. The use of steel wire gauze could also obviate the application of adhesives that are required to bond steel plates to the rubber and this could also reduce the cost. Important parameters such as shear and vertical stiffness as well as damping of scaled-down wire-gauze-reinforced-bearings were investigated. The results are compared with the normal steel-plate-laminated bearings and with that obtained from finite element analysis.
Safiah Atan, Suhaila Derapi, Lizawati Ismail and Nor Aini Ab. Shukor
Two races of Corynespora cassiicola have been found to affect immature and mature leaves of Hevea brasiliensis in Malaysia. Immature and mature leaves of 20 randomly selected progenies from family PB 5/51 X IAN 873 were used to screen resistance/susceptibility to isolates CSB 16 (race 1) and CLN 16 (race 2) separately. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Least Significant Difference (LSD) test at a 0.05 probability level were used to compare treatment means. The multifactor ANOVA was used to analyse the results which include main effects and interactions between factors studied viz. progenies, leaf types and isolates. Immature leaves were more susceptible to both races than mature leaves and isolate CLN 16 (race 2) was the more virulent to this Hevea family. This study was able to detect five progenies that were resistant to both fungal isolates. They were progenies 1636, 1747, 3223, 3320 and 3562.
Eugene E. Ehabe and Frédéric Bonfils
In a suitable organic solvent, Hevea natural rubber (NR) disintegrates into an insoluble gel phase (macrogel) and a sol phase consisting of polyisoprene chains with micro-aggregates (microgel). Studies on Hevea microgel following the advent of its quantitation by steric exclusion chromatography (SEC) are quite recent. In this study, transesterification of NR favoured macrogel elimination with unclear effects on the microgel. The NR’s structure and the relative gel quantities varied in solution (depending on the solvents used) and during transesterification to produce substantial quantities of low-to-average molar mass chains (probably from the macrogel and/or the microgel fraction). The macrogel broke down equally to microgel. This microgel, representing 25%–30% Hevea rubber, remained insensitive to transesterification. The NR’s structure was made up essentially of variably-sized membrane-delimited entities. On dissolution, these entities were denatured and through this liberated more or less branched polyisoprene chains, as well as some microgel and macrogel.
Aziana, A.H., Ikram, A., Mok, K.L. and Amir-Hashim, M.Y.
Measurements of endotoxin and microbial contamination during glove manufacture were made at two commercial plants and from the RRIES Gloveline. Samples were taken from solutions and air along the processing tank line, and from the stripping and packaging areas. At all three plants, high airborne endotoxin concentrations were encountered in the stripping areas and in the packing rooms, relative to the concentration range along the processing tank line. Endotoxin was also detected from surfaces at the stripping areas and in the packing rooms. The most likely cause for the final endotoxin concentrations on the formed gloves is the higher level of airborne endotoxins during stripping and packing activities. The population densities of airborne microbes were also high in the stripping area. A variety of bacteria were recorded, with a predominance of Gram-negative types. Reducing the likelihood of bacterial contamination reduces both microorganisms and pyrogens and it is vital to place greater focus on reducing microbial contaminants at these critical areas of surgical glove production.
Lee, J.J. and Ab-Malek, K.
The use of seismic rubber bearings for base isolation has been proven effective to protect both the structure and its contents from earthquake damage and to ensure functionality of
the structure after a major earthquake. The design of an effective base isolation system depends on the shear stiffness of the bearings which also influences the behaviour of a base isolated building under dynamic load. Imbalance distribution of bearing shear stiffness over the projected centre of mass of the building will lead to a torsional deformation which could cause catastrophic damage. In order to ensure the centre of stiffness of the base isolation system coincides with the projected centre of mass of the building, trials need to be carried out to determine the suitable bearing stiffness combination and bearing location. This is tedious as the system often consists of large number of bearings. To circumvent the problem and reduce the working time, a programme has been written to determine the bearing stiffness distribution. The programme was developed in a spreadsheet and guides the user to determine the final stiffness combination for the seismic rubber bearing system. Results on structural analysis highlighting the effects of base isolation and torsion of symmetrical and asymmetrical buildings are discussed.
Lim, H.M. and Amir-Hashim, M.Y.
Latex blending is a common technique employed to obtain a combination of properties inherent in the individual polymers and to enhance the properties of the final product. In this present investigation, the natural rubber latex was blended with polyurethane dispersion. The blended latex was compounded and processed into a latex foam rubber at a laboratory scale using the Dunlop process. A comparative study between the natural rubber latex foam and blend foam with different densities was carried out. The mechanical properties of the foam were evaluated and the surface morphology was visualised with SEM. The results showed that the blend foam has satisfactory tensile strength and hardness value, but with a higher volume of shrinkage, compression set and age hardening. The elongation at break value was comparable to that of normal NR latex foam. Both types of foam showed similar foam cell structure whereby the cells were interconnected with each other and were of open cell structure.
Azlina Bahari and Chow, K.S.
We describe a real time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) approach to measure gene expression of selected latex genes with SYBR Green I as the reporter dye. In this study, the target genes were the small rubber particle protein (SRPP) and farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS) while the reference was the 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene. As a first requirement, amplification efficiencies of primer pairs specific to target and reference genes were determined by two-step RT-PCR. In the RT (reverse transcription) step, single-stranded cDNA was synthesised from latex total RNA. Then, ten-fold serial dilutions were amplified with gene-specific primers to generate cycle threshold (Ct) values for constructing a cDNA standard curve for each gene. Subsequently, one-step qRT-PCR reactions were set up to generate Ct values for the target and reference genes from the same RNA sample. A relative quantification method which employs an efficiency-compensated comparative Ct approach was used to calculate target gene transcript level relative to the 18S rRNA gene.
Nurul Hayati Yusof, Hasma H., Ma’zam Md Said and Amir Hashim Mohd Yatim
Extractable protein (EP), antigenic protein (AP) and allergenic protein (AgP) contents of examination gloves sampled at different stages of commercial examination glove production over a 3 months production period were determined. The EP, AP and AgP contents of gloves at any stage of production generally increased with increasing production time. Gloves collected immediately after the pre-leaching process showed higher EP content compared to unleached gloves. Gloves taken after post-curing at 140ºC for about 30 minutes, gave the highest EP, AP and AgP contents. The EP, AP and AgP contents of gloves taken after the post-leaching and the subsequent stages were considerably lower compared to gloves taken before the
post-leaching stage. There is a tendency for the AgP content of the final products to be
higher than those samples taken after the post-leaching and slurry-dip stages. It is hoped that this study on protein profile of a commercial glove dipping line could provide a guideline on appropriate conditions that needs to be applied at various stages of the glove production process.
Azhar Ahmad and Sahar Al-Malaika
The main aim of this work was to investigate the effect of a highly reactive comonomer, divinylbenzene (DVB), on the extent of melt grafting of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) on ethylene-propylene rubber (EPR) using 2,5-dimethyl-2,5-bis-(tert-butyl peroxy) hexane (Trigonox 101, T101) as a free radical initiator, and to compare the results with a conventional grafting of the same monomer on EPR. To achieve this, the effect of processing conditions and chemical composition including the concentration of peroxide, GMA and DVB on the extent of grafting was investigated. The presence of the comonomer (DVB) in the grafting process resulted in a significant increase in the extent of the grafting using only a small concentration of peroxide. It was also found that the extent of grafting increased drastically with the increasing DVB concentration. Interestingly, in the comonomer system, the extent of the undesired side reaction, normally the homopolymerisation of GMA (polyGMA) was shown to have reduced tremendously and in most cases the level of polyGMA was immeasurable in the samples. In contrast, the extent of grafting in conventional system increased with increasing the peroxide concentration but the level of grafting was much lower than in the case of DVB. Homopolymerisation of GMA and excessive crosslinking of EPR became dominant at high peroxide concentration and this reflects that the side reactions were favourable in the conventional grafting system.
M. Siti Nor Qamarina, K.L. Mok, A.Y. Tajul and R. Nur Fadilah
This study examines the residual rubber chemicals commonly used in natural rubber (NR) latex formulation and their effects on the biocompatibility of finished products. Several in-house compounds differing in chemical compositions were prepared and analysed for their physical properties, residual chemicals and biocompatibility. From this, an optimum formulation with low residual chemical content and acceptable physical properties was selected as a model design. In vitro cytotoxicity elution tests with L 929 fibroblasts showed all sample extracts to be poorly biocompatible. This however improved markedly when tested against extracts made from solid samples that had undergone a pre-wash in acetone. Tensile strength and M300 values of the solid samples were within an acceptable range with minimal changes after the acetone wash. Residual chemical content of the extracts was markedly reduced when analysed using high performance liquid chromatography based on the diethyldithiocarbamate (DEC) derivative method. A further study on 12 commercial powder-free NR examination gloves showed a similar improvement after the acetone wash where cell viability of L 292 fibroblasts was substantially increased in tandem with reduced residual chemical content. A genotoxicity study on Chang liver cells via the Alkaline Comet Assay showed minimal DNA damage. The physical properties of these gloves remained unaffected after the acetone wash.
Nguyen Anh Nghia, Jugah Kadir, E. Sunderasan, Mohd. Puad Abdullah and Suhaimi Napis
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected in the internal transcribed spacer region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA-ITS) of 21 Corynespora cassiicola isolates obtained from a number of Hevea clones grown in rubber plantations in Malaysia. The two SNPs correlated with the physiological races of the isolates. Database searches yielded another 28 C. cassiicola isolates from diverse hosts and geographical regions. With this inclusion, a total of seven SNPs and two indels in the rDNA-ITS region were detected from all 49 C. cassiicola isolates. The knowledge of intraspecific variability (SNPs and indels) could prove useful in the delineation of physiological races or pathotypes of this fungus.
Jaap J. Beintema
Hevein is the major soluble protein in the latex of Hevea brasiliensis. It is formed from a larger precursor, prohevein. Since 1960, many studies have been performed on and with this protein by specialists from a large variety of disciplines. In this review, several aspects of recent research on hevein, prohevein and their naturally occurring variants are summarised, integrating both literature data and data present in databases
M.K. Mazlina, I. Ibrahim and Jane Clarke
A previous study showed that the modulus of a starch filled natural rubber (NR) compound was low compared to the carbon black filled compound and probably insufficient for many engineering applications. Hence, it was considered interesting to determine whether coupling agents such as bis-(3-triethoxysilylpropyl) tetrasulfane (TESPT)/Si 69, polybutadiene maleic anhydride (PBMAH) and resorcinol formaldehyde (RFH) resin with a methylene donor could improve starch filled vulcanisate properties, particularly by increasing the modulus.
In this study, TESPT/Si 69 (5 p.h.r.), PBMAH (5 p.h.r.) and RF/HMT (3 p.h.r./2 p.h.r.) were used as coupling agents in the starch filled compounds. It was observed that the rubber adhesion was increased by adding PBMAH and RFH coupling agents and, as a result, the stiffness and the elasticity increased whilst the water absorption decreased.
Ansarifar, L. Wang, K.K. Yoong, M. Osmani and A. Pappu
Glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) wastes are often disposed off in landfills, incinerated or processed into powders. GRP waste powders can be recycled as filler in virgin polymers and should be characterised before they are added to avoid processing problems. A GRP waste powder was characterised using advanced measuring and analytical techniques. These included, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, particle size analyser, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray microanalyser. The results showed that the waste powder consisted of irregular shaped particles and glass fibre fragments up to 700 μm in size. Moreover, the waste powder was a thermoset polyester resin and its chemical constituents were calcium, oxygen, aluminium, silica, chlorine, bromine and carbon. When up to 25 parts per hundred rubber by weight of the GRP waste powder was mixed with a sulphur cure-based styrene-butadiene rubber, the viscosity, scorch and optimum cure times increased and the rate of cure decreased. The tearing energy, elongation at break, tensile strength, stored energy density at break and Young’s modulus of the vulcanisate improved as the loading of the waste powder was raised.
Asrul Mustafa and Fauzi Mohd Som
Hemp fibre filled rubber were prepared using industrial hemp fibre mats with rubber latex. Three types of fibres, namely, untreated, alkaline treated and digested fibres were used in the present study. Prior to the preparation of the fibre filled rubber, thermal and surface morphological analyses indicated certain changes in the treated fibres in contrast to untreated fibres. Fibres treated with a concentrated alkaline solution at high temperature demonstrated a higher level of surface roughness and resistance to thermal degradation than untreated fibres. The higher level of surface roughness observed in the treated fibres was also observed in the resulting properties of the fibre filled rubber. The fibre filled rubber exhibited poorer strength than the rubber control which can be attributed to inappropriate adherence between the rubber and fibres.
Kuswanhadi, J. Leclercq, M. Rio, J. Tregear, M.-N. Ducamp-Collin and P. Montoro
Ethylene is a major stimulating factor for natural rubber production in Hevea brasiliensis and is often applied in the form of Ethephon, an ethylene releaser. In a positive feedback type mechanism, the application of ethylene leads to the enhanced expression of genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis such as ACC oxidases, which are also responsive to wounding. We studied the regulation of ethylene biosynthesis in rubber trees through the characterisation of the ACC oxidase multigene family and the responses of individual genes to ethylene and wounding. Three full-length cDNAs, HbACO1, HbACO2 and HbACO3, were isolated. The HbACOs were 1115, 1174 and 1074 bp long, respectively, with open reading frames encoding polypeptides of 312, 318 and 318 amino acids, respectively. The genomic sequences of HbACO1 and HbACO2 were also characterised, revealing divergent gene structures: HbACO1 (1456 bp) possesses three introns and four exons, while HbACO2 (1418 bp) consists of two introns and three exons. All of the HbACO genes were expressed at all stages of development studied, from in vitro callus to the exploited plant, but with different expression profiles. Nevertheless, no expression was detected in latex. In the bark of the shoot of the first flush of budded plants, HbACO1 was expressed at a higher level than the other genes, and was down-regulated by ethylene and wounding in both leaf and bark tissues. In contrast, HbACO2 and HbACO3 were transiently induced in response to ethylene and wounding. Treatment with 1-MCP, an ethylene action inhibitor, abolished the ethylene induction of HbACO2 gene, showing that this gene was under positive feedback regulation. The expression of HbACO3 gene was also induced by ethylene treatment and wounding, again with an antagonistic effect of 1-MCP. In conclusion, HbACO1 appears to be responsible for basal levels of ethylene production while HbACO2 and HbACO3 are up-regulated in response to external factors.
Micrographs are shown of some typical types of structural damage that can occur in a vulcanisate as a result of electrochemical degradation (ECD) in the material. The importance of the carbon black content, the operating temperature, the coolant composition, a vulcanisates cure system and other compound ingredients on the size of the current that can flow through a vulcanisate and its impact on ECD were discussed as well as the effects of crosslink density on volume resistivity and current flow. Results from SEM X-ray analysis of ECD damaged material on the depletion of zinc and sulphur by ECD and the associated effects on current flow through a compound are also discussed.
Wet grip is one of the most important properties relevant to tyre safety. The slip dependency of the side force coefficient was investigated with extra attention to Antilock Braking System (ABS)-breaking. A set-up which enables the simulation of wet road properties leads to a fair prediction of wet grip. A laboratory test method has been developed which uses a rotating disk against which a rubber sample wheel runs under a given load, slip angle and speed. The side force component acting on the wheel during the tests was recorded. The surface can be wetted with water at different temperatures and the side force at a slipping wheel is measured over a wide range of temperatures, slip and speed. Low water temperatures and low slip speed settings in the laboratory produce side force ratings, which correlate excellently with ABS braking on the road. Median and high slip speeds give ratings in close agreement with locked wheel braking on the road.
B.N. Krishna Veni and M.S. Ma’zam
One of the major disadvantages of natural rubber (NR) is poor ozone and ageing resistance besides poor oil and chemical resistance. These weaknesses are partly caused by the double bonds present in the rubber molecules. However the number of double bonds can be reduced by hydrogenation. This paper discusses the effect of preservation systems of NR latex used as the starting materials and also the effect of hydrogen peroxide on the efficiency of the hydrogenation reaction. The hydrogenated NR was prepared by reacting NR latex with hydrazine hydrate and hydrogen peroxide. The rubber was characterised by using proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). The results showed that the hydrogenation level is significantly affected by the different preservation systems and the concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The optimum level of hydrogen peroxide concentration was found to be in the range of 20-30% for all types of preservation systems. The use of field latex as a starting material achieved a much higher hydrogenation level (67%) compared to other types of preserved latex examined.
S. Soltani, G. Naderi and M.H.R. Ghoreishy
NR/SBR composites were prepared with virgin and waste short nylon fibre using a two-roll mill. The effects of the fibres and bonding agent content on the microstructure, mechanical and rheological properties of the composites were investigated. The curing characteristics of the composites were determined and subsequently vulcanised at 150ºC using a hot press. The cure and scorch times of the composites decreased while the maximum torques increased with increasing fibre loading. The adhesion between the fibre and rubber was enhanced by using a dry bonding agent consisting of resorcinol, hexamethylenetetramine and hydrated silica (HRH). The bonding agent provided a shorter curing time and enhanced mechanical properties. The fracture surfaces of samples were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The presence of fibres in the matrix influenced the fracture modes leading to pull out and breakage of fibres. Anisotropic swelling studies were carried out to study the fibre matrix interaction and fibre orientation. The restriction to swelling is higher for composites containing bonding agent and the preferential orientation of the fibres is in the milling direction. For composites prepared with virgin and waste fibres, the dependence of the storage modulus (G’) on angular frequency followed a clear non-terminal behaviour.
R. Roslim and M.Y. Amir Hashim
The physical properties of unfilled and filled natural rubber latex (NRL) films were investigated. The presence of calcium carbonate in latex films, determined by ash content method that was lower than the amount of filler added to the compound, suggested that the filler tended to sediment. Images obtained from Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope System
(FESEM) on the filled latex film confirmed agglomerates in the latex films especially with higher filler loading and hence, influencing the appearance of the films whereby the dense colour was observed. The stress on the latex films due to the filler was investigated using Mooney Rivlin (C1) stress-strain relaxation measurement method. The clear difference in the C1 values obtained from the test sample before and after being stretched indicated possible breaking at the polymer-filler interphase, especially in natural rubber latex films with high filler loading. It was confirmed that the addition of calcium carbonate up to 20 parts per hundred rubber (p.p.h.r.) into compounded natural rubber latex produced films with some improvements in strength and stiffness. The improvement in strength, however, ceased and decreased on higher filler content and the elasticity of the film reduced drastically.
K.C. Yong and Che Su Mt Saad
High temperature-mechanical mixing method (by using the combination of internal mixer and two-roll mill) was successfully used for the first time in order to prepare sulfur-vulcanised poly(butadiene-co-acrylonitrile)-polyaniline dodecylbenzenesulfonate [NBR-PAni.DBSA] blends. The addition of sulfur as the vulcanising agent did not affect the electrical properties of all these vulcanised blends (with good electrical conductivity up to 10–2S.cm–1 and low conductivity percolation threshold at only 5.0 wt %/4.5 volume % of PAni.DBSA loadings). The FT-IR spectra of the vulcanised NBR-PAni.DBSA blends resembled a superposition of the spectra of constituent NBR and PAni.DBSA, but with some notable peak shifts due to changing intermolecular interactions between the two polymer components. Blends with ≤30 wt % of PAni.DBSA gave the best compatibility, i.e. with largest peak shifts for their FT-IR spectra and largest temperature shifts for their DSC recorded thermal events. The scanning electron microscopy study of the vulcanised blends showed that the level of electrical conductive network formation was enhanced with increase of PAni.DBSA content.
K.V.V.S. Kudaligama, W.M. Thurul and P.A.J. Yapa
Crepe rubber industry is one of the major water polluting industries in all rubber growing countries. There is a necessity to develop suitable treatment technologies for the management of this problem. Covered Activated Ditch (CAD) type test reactors set with Bio-brush media are very effective in rubber factory wastewater treatment. Out of four organic loading rates (OLR) and five specific surface areas (SSA) of media tested respectively, Bio-brush media with 200 m2/m3 SSA under 1.0 COD kg/m3/d OLR was selected as the best for CAD reactors and the average COD removal achieved was about 89%. Results revealed that at higher OLR, correction of pH could be avoided for an efficient treatment and reactors with higher SSA of media were able to tolerate organic shock loads comparatively. The efficiency of treatment increased with increasing SSA of media and no special cycles were observed in removing biomass from the test reactor under any of the four OLRs tested. During maturation, chemical oxygen demand (COD), pH and suspended solids (SS) of treated effluent with 200 m2/m3 SSA were about 100 mg/L, 6.7 – 7.2 and 26 – 43 mg/L respectively which were below the maximum desirable levels stipulated by the Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka. Apart from the rubber industry, CAD reactors could also be used for treating biodegradable liquid waste such as waste from the palm oil industry, rice processing industry, sugar industry and others.
Low particle size silica in the nanometer range was synthesised in an aqueous medium by the sol-gel method using dilute hydrochloric acid and sodium silicate, and characterised using
X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Infrared Spectroscopy (IR). This synthetic nanosilica had a lower number of hydroxyl groups than commercial silica and hence underwent reduced silica-silica agglomeration. The nanosilica was used as a reinforcing filler in natural rubber compounds, its cure characteristics and mechanical properties were evaluated. Minimum torque, maximum torque, scorch time and cure time were increased with silica loading. Mechanical properties such as tensile strength, Young’s modulus, tear strength, abrasion loss, hardness, resilience and compression set were better than those of natural rubber vulcanisates filled with commercial silica. Volume fraction of rubber in a solvent-swollen sample was also higher for the nanosilica compounds.
Azemi bin Samsuri
Parallel-sided test-pieces prepared from conventional natural rubber (NR) sulfur vulcanisates filled with 50 p.p.h.r. HAF black were pre-stressed to a pre-determined stress level for one minute, after which the loading stress was removed. They were swollen in toluene for 72 hours after which time they were deswollen to remove residual strain, and to allow for rapid elastic recovery. The test-pieces were dried down to a constant weight before carrying out the tear test. Tear deviations from the intended tear path took place if the stress level during pre-stressing was lower than 18 - 20 MPa (ca. 350% strain). Above 20 MPa stress level, the tear did not deviate but propagated along the intended tear path. However, if the samples were cycled a few times even below 18 MPa, no tear deviations from the intended path were observed. Tear measurements on all samples pre-stressed to 23 MPa were conducted at four different temperatures and at various different test speeds. Within the range of test speeds and test temperatures covered in this investigation, tearing energy increased with increasing test speeds. The tearing energy data were amenable to WLF transformations indicating that the tearing process was predominantly associated with viscous processes. Tearing energy of the pre-stressed samples was closely associated with the amount of permanent set produced during pre-stressing (single loading or cyclic loading). The higher the amount of set, the lower the tearing energy.
Siti Salina Sarkawi and S.J. Eichhorn
The deformation micromechanics of kenaf fibre and model kenaf/epoxy composites were investigated using Raman spectroscopy. The mechanical properties of kenaf fibre were evaluated. A well defined peak at 1095 cm–1 was observed in Raman spectra of the kenaf fibre. This peak was found to shift to a lower wavenumber upon fibre deformation. The Raman peak position was also noted to decrease linearly with respect to an increase in strain and stress. The same trend was also observed during the deformation of kenaf fibre-epoxy resin composite using a four-point bending test. The 1095 cm–1 peak position returned to its original position after the fibre was deformed in the composite. This indicated that the stress was being transferred from the matrix to the fibre.
J. Intapun, J. Sainte-Beuve, F. Bonfils, V. Tanrattanakul, E. Dubreucq and L. Vaysse
The maturation conditions of cup rubber coagula stacked in the form of a stocking pile in an
industrial plant have been characterised. It was found that temperature and relative humidity
of the air increased with depth within the pile. In contrast, oxygen content of the air within
the pile decreased as depth increased. The effects of these parameters on the properties of
processed cup coagula maturation were studied. Effects of 24-day maturation on rubber
properties were found to vary with the position of cup coagula within the pile. The pH of
maturated cup coagula decreased significantly with depth in the pile. An inverse pattern was
observed for Wallace initial plasticity (Po), Plasticity retention index (PRI), gel content and
weight average molar mass (Mw). Moreover, the maturation period, especially at the deepest
layers, was found to have a positive effect on the standardised properties of rubber such as Po
Rubber bushes consist of a hollow rubber cylinder bonded on the inside and outside to
rigid metal sleeves and are widely used as mountings to provide compliance. Four modes of
deformation are commonly defined: axial, torsional, radial and tilting. Formulae, available
in the literature for calculating the small strain stiffnesses of such bushes, are briefly reviewed.
Sometimes two voids are introduced on opposite sides, running along the length of the bush,
to give a directional dependence to the radial and tilting stiffness. An approximate theoretical
treatment for such bushes is presented, together with predictions of the stiffnesses from FEA.
Mountings in which the inner and outer sleeves are connected by two blocks of rubber, in effect
bushes with very large voids, are also considered. It is shown that reasonable predictions of the
bush stiffnesses may be obtained from the approximate formulae. Such formulae may therefore
be used in design calculations to provide an initial estimate of the required dimensions of the
bush and FEA may then be used to refine the initial design.
T.R. Chandrasekhar*# and T. Gireesh**
In order to report growth and yield performance of progenies of 2002-hand pollination programme and to discuss the observations vis-à-vis juvenile screening in
hevea breeding, test tapping at three years was carried out. Latex volume,
instead of dry rubber, was collected as yield from each tapping. Dry rubber
content (DRC) of top selections was determined for calculation of rubber yield.
Distribution of seedlings in different girth, yield and DRC classes were studied.
Mean range in latex yield noted in the full-sib progenies of Wickham Χ Wild accessions was 0.1
to 4.5 mL t–1 t–1 (mL per tree per tapping) while in Wickham Χ Wickham progenies
it was 0.1 to 19.6 mL t–1 t–1. In the clonal half-sibs (HS), mean yield was low
in HS progenies of RRII 105 and PB 330 while in RRII 414 and RRII 429 it was
higher. Maximum latex yield noted from a tapping was 33.0 mL t–1 t–1. Dry rubber
yield in the top 20% selections showed a range of 0.7 to 4.1 g t–1 t–1
(grams per tree per tapping). Mean yield from 10 tappings ranged from 7 to 41 g
t–1 10t–1 (grams per tree per 10 tappings). DRC among the top 20% selections
varied from 14.3% to 38%. In the low girth class only one was included in the top
20% of selections. Moderate and average girth classes each contributed 41 and 38
seedlings that included most of the top 20% of selections. It was concluded that
test-tapping at age three, rather than at two, was more useful. Measurement of
yield in terms of latex volume as opposed to that of dry rubber yield, can result
in more accurate yield recording. Latex can be used for determining rubber content
and biochemical and physiological determinants of yield that can further boost the
probability of potential selections. For maximum genetic gain in juvenile selection,
seedlings of moderate to high girth class and average yield seemed more promising.
L. Lardet, F. Dessailly, M.P. Carron, M.A. Rio, N. Ferrière and P. Montoro
A procedure for long-term somatic embryogenesis called Maintained Somatic Embryogenesis
(MSE) was previously described in Hevea brasiliensis to obtain embryogenic callus lines
directly from integument explants. However, the frequency with which embryogenic friable
callus lines are directly established from the inner integument of immature fruit is low and
restricted to the clones PB 260 and RRIM 703. In this study, the ability of somatic embryos
to develop friable callus lines with proliferating and embryogenic capacities was highlighted.
Histological analyses revealed dedifferentiation of the epidermal and perivascular cells,
giving rise to the formation of friable embryogenic callus on the periphery of somatic embryo
explants. Cell proliferation induced by subsequent subcultures of calli on maintenance medium
resulted in the establishment of embryogenic callus lines. This new procedure is called indirect
Secondary Somatic Embryogenesis (SSE). The potential of embryo-derived embryogenic
callus lines was assessed in comparison with the integument-derived embryogenic callus line
produced using the MSE procedure. Embryogenic callus lines were established with the clones
PB 260 and RRIM 703 for the new process with a higher frequency than those obtained with
the MSE procedure. In addition, the number of subcultures needed to establish callus lines
was shortened. Secondary somatic embryogenesis also enabled the production of friable callus
lines for the PB 217 clone, which was recalcitrant to the previous process. This alternative
procedure opens the way for applications of long-term embryogenesis to many other clones for
which primary somatic embryogenesis is successful.
Mohd-Noor Mat-Isa, Keng-See Chow, Ahmad-Fuad-Hilmi Mohamad, Mohd-Yunus Shahrum, Chee-Chong Hoh, Mohd-Rashdi Mohd-Amin, Khairil-Anuar Zainal, Hoong-Yeet Yeang and Kiew-Lian Wan
Current technological advancement of DNA sequencing has afforded opportunities to analyse
genes on a larger scale. In natural rubber research, DNA sequencing technology has been
used in the generation of approximately 10,000 DNA sequences representing genes expressed
in the latex of Hevea brasiliensis (Muell. Arg.) clone RRIM600. These sequence data, more
popularly known as expressed sequence tags (ESTs), can be analysed using bioinformatics
tools to facilitate gene discovery and provide information regarding the putative function
and expression profile of latex genes. We have developed NRESTdb, a Natural Rubber EST
database, to provide easy access and rapid analysis of these data. To our knowledge, this is the
first publicly available EST database for H. brasiliensis. In addition to serving as a repository
for individual latex EST and clustered sequences, this database allows users to view, mine
and retrieve useful information regarding: the transcriptome of natural rubber latex including
matches with existing domains and gene sequences available in public databases; description
based on the Gene Ontology nomenclature; homologues identified via comparative sequence
analysis; and enhanced data sets of special interest, namely rubber biosynthesis and latex
M.T. Ong, K.L. Yang, K.L. Lam G.A. Ong and E. Sunderasan
An increasing amount of cancer research is being directed towards the investigation of plant-derived
anticancer compounds, many of which have been used in traditional herbal treatments
for centuries. Extracts of Hevea brasiliensis, the natural rubber tree, had been demonstrated
previously to have anti-cancer properties. In the present study, latex fractions, namely B- and
C-sera were found to have anticancer properties in cell-based assay. Based on this result,
further screening was carried out using sub-fractions of latex B- and C-sera. This has led
to the ﬁndings that one of the B-serum sub-fractions, BHM, is highly selective in reducing
the growth of HeLa (cancer-origin) cells compared to that of Vero (non-cancer-origin) cells
in MTT cell-based assay. The outcome has also paved the way for further investigations to
elucidate the mechanisms of the BHM sub-fraction in reducing the growth of cancer-origin
cells, as well as to evaluate its potential role in cancer treatment.
A. Dusotoit-Coucaud, N. Brunel, J. Franchel, F. Granet, H. Chrestin and S. Sakr
The rubber synthesis in latex cells requires sucrose. These particular cells are heterotrophic
ones and are apoplastically connected to other tissues. Such features imply that the rubber
yield may depend on the latex cell efficiency to absorb and to use the imported sucrose.
This study investigates the sucrose transporters as key genes for rubber biosynthesis involved
in the ethylene-stimulated rubber yield. Seven putative sucrose transporters had been
isolated from a latex-derived cDNA library of PB 217. Expression profiling of these sucrose
transporters under ethylene stimulation in PB 217 underlined the role of one sucrose
transporter: HbSUT1B (Hevea brasiliensis Sucrose Transporter 6) (Dusotoit-Coucaud et
al., 2007). This paper reports the next stage in HbSUT1B, molecular characterisation. Its
expression in different parts of the rubber tree was studied. It was preferentially expressed in
leaves and bark. This result was completed by in-situ hybridisation experiments. In addition,
promoter cloning and analysis revealed some clues for the wounding regulation of HbSUT1B.
The HbSUT1B expression was analysed in response to different treatments in latex or bark
tissues. HbSUT1B was considerably up-regulated by hormones and wounding in bark but not
in latex. This regulation appeared to be tissue-speciﬁc.
Bastiah Ahmad, Hashima Idris and Siti Hawa Sulong
Leaf physiological and stomatal parameters were studied from immature plants grown in the
ground nursery. These Hevea clones differed widely in mature yield. Significant differences
were detected in some of the parameters such as light saturated photosynthesis (Psat), stomatal
conductance (SC), transpiration rate (TR), mesophyll conductance (MCond) and instantaneous
water use efficiency (WUEg) among the clones. The variation in mature yield, girth at opening
as well as physiological parameters and stomatal characteristics were not affected by weather.
The mature yield showed a positive correlation with Psat, SC, TR and MCond while the girth at
opening was positively correlated with instantaneous WUEg. A step-wise multiple regression
confirmed results of the simple correlation. About 34% of the differences in mature yield was
explained by Psat. The addition of potential conductance index (PCI), a product of stomatal
frequency (SF) and square of length of stomatal complex (LSC), as an independent variable
increased the predictive power for mature yield by about 55%. The results indicated that
Psat singly could identify high yielding clones with 63% accuracy and an error rate of 17%
for wrongly identifying low yielders as high yielding clones. When both Psat and PCI were
used, all high yielding clones could be identified. It is concluded that both Psat and PCI,
which together have successfully identified high yielding clones, have a potential to be used
as indirect selection criteria for yield of Hevea progenies during the early stages of growth in the nursery.
Mutsuhisa Furukawa and Baiju John
Polyamide 6 (PA6) monofilament fibres were coated with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
thin film. The TPU was prepared from poly (ethylene adipate) glycol, 4, 4’-diphenylmethane
diisocyanate (MDI) and 1, 4-butanediol (BD) with an NCO Index of 1.05. The structural changes
in the fibre were analysed by the microscope FT-IR ATR scanning mode. It was found that
structural changes occurred in the PA6 fibres due to TPU coating. There was a transformation
from an amorphous phase to the α-crystalline phase resulting in the increase of crystallinity
of PA6 fibre. An increase in strength as well as elongation was observed in the case of TPU
coated fibres. The Young’s modulus too showed an increase in strength. The improvement in
the mechanical properties of coated PA6 was due to the crystalline changes in the fiber, the
annealing effect, the interface stiffening due to the interaction of the urethane group of TPU and
the amide group of polyamide fiber as well as the role played by micro-cracks. The blending
method is usually used for the performance improvement of PA6 fibres. The improvement of
mechanical properties with a soft thin TPU coating seems very interesting and important. Also
the TPU coated PA6 fibres had enhanced mechanical properties and possess a degradable
nature when compared to the normal PA6 fibres.
R.S. Dharmakeerthi, T.R. Attygalle, R.B. Mapa, S.P. Perera and S.N. Silva
If soil properties are spatially dependent, this information could be used to delineate
management units for site-specific fertilizer application. Spatial dependency of soil pH,
organic carbon (OC), gravimetric water content ( θ g ), available P (Pa ), exchangeable K, Mg
and Ca (Kex, Mgex, and Caex, respectively) were evaluated using geostatistical methods in a
rubber field on Red Yellow Podsolic soils (Typic Paleudults), a major rubber growing soil in
Sri Lanka. Soil samples were collected at 5 m intervals along a linear transect of 150 m from
crest to bottom in a hilly landscape. Soil pH, OC and θg
showed a low variability (CV<15%), Pa and Caex showed a very high degree of variability (CV>50%), while K ex and Mg ex showed
a medium variability. Variation in measured soil properties showed some spatial structure.
Spatial dependence of available P was poor (81% nugget variance), while that of pH was
very high (6% nugget variance). The distance within which the soil properties were spatially
correlated ranged from 10.6 m (pH) to 69 m ( θ g ). In general, there was a high degree of
randomness in plant available nutrients in this field, particularly at distances less than 5 m. The
usefulness of this information in site-specific fertilizer application is discussed.
K. Manjula Dilkushi Silva and S. Walpalage
Low quality natural rubber latex, matured with different levels of well known long chain fatty
acid salt showed variations in properties. Mechanical stability time, foaming height and viscosity
were significantly altered by the added ammonium laurate soap level. Potassium hydroxide
number and conductivity showed existence of a similar effect apparently up to a certain level of
the added soap. Soap levels above 0.5 X 10-4 moles per 100 g of latex enhance the mechanical
stability time as well as foaming height. Magnitude of the effect depends upon the amount of
the added soap. Initial viscosity was decreased by soap addition but a progressive increase
and corresponding decrease was observed thereafter. Both potassium hydroxide number and
conductivity increased with increasing levels of soap and attained a constant value after
5 X 10-4 moles of soap per 100 g latex. Soap levels between 4.2 X 10-4 and 5 X 10-4 moles
per 100 g latex were the critical levels with rapid changes in properties. There was no effect of
fatty acid soap on MST on matured latex.
V. Devaraj, I. Ahmad Fauzi and M.N. Zairossani
Attenuated Total Internal Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (ATR-FTIR)
was used to study the chemical nature of the deposits on the fouled polyvinylidene Fluoride
(PVDF) tubular membrane after the concentration of natural rubber skim latex by cross-flow
ultrafiltration process. The subtraction spectroscopy analysis (subtraction of spectrum of the
fouled membrane by the spectrum of the unused clean membrane) indicated that the major
composition of the foulants found on the interior surface of the membrane could be of natural
rubber latex protein derivatives (amino acids; bonded NH; NH2 and amine) and the smaller
rubber particles that plugged the membrane pores. The chemical nature of inorganic foulants
originating from metallic ions from the preservation system of the natural rubber latex could
not be determined. The current membrane cleaning procedure is not effective enough to remove
all the organic foulants. This study only provides a preliminary identification of the functional
groups and needs further confirmation by other analytical tools for a full characterisation of
the foulants for formulating a more effective membrane cleaning procedure.
M. Siti Nor Qamarina and M.Y. Amir Hashim
Zinc-complexes are essential ingredients in natural rubber latex (NRL) sulphur vulcanisation
systems as they enhance the vulcanisation efficiency and improve the vulcanisate properties.
Sulphur, zinc-type accelerators and zinc oxide (ZnO) are the main chemical ingredients utilised
in a vulcanisation system. Zinc type accelerators accelerate the vulcanisation process in many
rubber products manufacturing, while ZnO, enhances the vulcanisation efficiency. However,
these chemicals may form residuals and could be released from the vulcanisates, either
during the product manufacturing process or from the finished products. These chemicals
may contribute towards environmental pollution, while some residuals are known to induce
Type IV skin sensitivity. Thus, understanding the role of these zinc-containing chemicals in
the processing of NRL based products can help the optimisation on the amount of chemicals
needed for the latex products. This study showed that the amount of residual carbamate (DEC)
extracted from vulcanised NRL films reduced with increased amount of ZnO content. The
physical properties and crosslink densities of NRL films improved with addition of zinc diethyl
dithiocarbamate (ZDEC) and ZnO. The study also confirmed the effect of heating whereby NRL
films heated at high temperature demonstrated prominent differences in physical properties
and residual DEC.
S. Obouayeba, E.F. Soumahin, M. Dobo, R. Lacote, O. Gabla and A. Doumbia
Clone IRCA 111 was developed in Côte d’Ivoire in 1975 to contribute in increasing the rubber
production. Nine years of study were conducted on a large scale to identify the optimal tapping
system for its exploitation before being released to the producers. The experimental design was
that of a Randomised Complete Bloc (RCB). Among the six tapping systems tested (½ S d/2
6d/7; ½ S d/3 6d/7. ET 2.5%. Pa 1 (1). 4/y; ½ S d/4 6d/7. ET 2.5%. Pa 1 (1). 4/y; ½ S d/4 6d/7.
ET 2.5%. Pa 1 (1). 8/y; ½ S d/5 6d/7. ET 2.5%. Pa 1 (1). 8/y and ½ S d/6 6d/7. ET 2.5%. Pa 1
(1). 10/y) tapping twice per week with 4 annual stimulations (½ S d/3 6d/7. ET 2.5%. Pa 1 (1).
4/y) turned out to be the optimal exploitation system for IRCA 111. Nevertheless, with a limited
number of tappers, weekly tapping with 10 annual stimulations (½ S d/6 6d/7. ET 2.5 %. Pa 1
(1). 10/y) was the most appropriate. The production of rubber per tree and per tapping (g/t/t)
was in logarithmic relation with the intensity of tapping. The rate of tapping panel dryness
(TPD) was related to the intensity of tapping by a quadratic polynomial function. The study
also demonstrated that IRCA 111 had a high yield, a fast growth rate and an active metabolism
as compared to the standard clone PB 235.
K.R. Vijayakumar, Eric Gohet, K.U. Thomas, Wei Xiaodi, Sumarmadji, Lakshman Rodrigo, Do Kim Thanh, Pichit Sopchoke, K. Karunaichamy and Mohd Akbar Md. Said
Tapping notation that was revised by Lukman in 1983 is revised again. Rainguarding and
gaseous stimulation have been incorporated as new items. For a tapping period of less than
a year, it is shown exactly from the starting month to the ending month. Number of tappings
realized against the possible maximum number of tapping days is shown as a fraction. Similarly,
actual number of stimulations given against the scheduled number is also shown as a fraction.
Changes have been brought about in the expressions for cut length and frequency of tapping.
Use of arrows for expressing directions of tapping cuts and for change of tapping have been
changed to more convenient ones. The terminology, 'exploitation technology' is changed to
'latex harvest technology'.
Manroshan, S., Asrul Mustafa, Mok, K.L., Kawahara, S., Amir-Hashim M.Y. and Booten,
The use of surfactants in addition to proteolytic enzymes and other protein removing
agents such as urea is a common practice in acquiring deproteinised natural rubber
latex. In the present work, sodium dodecyl sulphate and a hydrophobically modified
polyfructose surfactant were used and compared in urea-deproteinisation of natural
rubber latex. The resulting deproteinised NR latex were evaluated for their mechanical
stability, protein content, nitrogen content, swelling index, tensile strength and
surface morphology. The results showed that the mechanical stability, surface morphology
and mechanical properties after aging improved when both sodium dodecyl sulphate
and hydrophobically modified polyfructose surfactants were used together. Furthermore,
the combination of both surfactants also reduced the extractable protein content,
nitrogen content and weight swelling index of the urea deproteinised latex.
A. Ansarifar, L. Wang, M. Osmani and A. Pappu
Products made of glass fibre reinforced polymers are often disposed off in landfills,
incinerated or processed into waste powders at the end of their service life. Waste
powders can be recycled as fillers for use in virgin polymers. The effects of up
to 50 parts per hundred rubber by weight thermoset polyester resin waste powder
on the viscosity, cure and mechanical properties of a sulphur-cured natural rubber
compound were studied. The powder had resin polymer particles and glass fibre fragments
ranging from approximately a few microns to 700 microns in size. The viscosity remained
unchanged and the cure properties deteriorated when the powder was added to the
rubber. The hardness, Young’s modulus and tensile modulus increased whereas, the
tensile strength, elongation at break, stored energy density at break and tearing
energy decreased. There was also evidence of poor adhesion between the powder and
rubber. The waste powder could be recycled as an extender filler to replace a portion
of the raw rubber in the compound.
Mazlina Mustafa Kamal, Jane Clarke and Md Aris Ahmad
One of the most important phenomena in rubber science is the reinforcement by rigid
entities such as carbon black, clays, silicates and calcium carbonate. Thus, these
fillers are added to rubber formulations to optimise properties that meet a given
service application or a set of performance parameters.
In this study, it was observed that the degree of reinforcement by addition of fillers
depended on the filler characteristics which in turn affected the strength of the
rubber:filler interaction. The two main filler characteristics that affected reinforcement
were the filler particle size and surface activity. The reinforcing effect of starch
was considerably lower than that of carbon black due to its large particle size
and its low dispersive component of surface energy.
W. Ziyun, T.D. Huang, H.S. Huang and Y.W. Hua
A simple and rapid protocol for establishment of Hevea suspension cultures is presented.
H. brasiliensis ´ H. nitida suspension cultures with uniformly dispersed cells and
cell aggregates were obtained after one to two months of culture. The growth kinetics
study showed a typical sigmoidal profile including lag phase, log phase or exponential
phase, linear phase and deceleration phase, while the doubling time was 2-5 days.
Sedimented cell volume (SCV), fresh weight (FW), growth index (GI) of FW, the decrease
of electrical conductivity (EC) in the medium had a very good linear correlation
with dry weight (DW) or GI of DW. The optimum maintenance medium for Hevea suspension
cultures was the modified MS medium supplemented with 0.2 mg/L 2,4-D, 2 mg/L NAA,
1 mg/L kinetin, 50 g/L sucrose, 0.2 g/L L-Asparagine and 0.4 g/L casein hydrolysate
and coconut water 5% (v/v), in which suspension cultures were still well grown with
multiplication after incubating in optimised suspension medium (OSM) for more than
one year. This cell suspension cultures would be used for protoplast isolation,
large-scale clonal propagation, preservation of genetic resources, genetic transformation
and establishment of bioreactors in Hevea.
Gunasunderi Raju, Ma'zam Md Said and Md Aris Ahmad
Kenaf has recently been seen as a competitive reinforcing material for conventional
synthetic fibre, such as glass fibre in polymer composites. The usage of kenaf has
increased due to its biodegradability and environmental compatibility. The cure
characteristics and mechanical properties of kenaf bast fibre-reinforced natural
rubber composites with and without bonding agent were investigated. Kenaf bast fibre
composites were prepared by mixing kenaf with natural rubber (NR). The composites
were vulcanised at 150°C according to their respective cure times. It was found
that fibres with the smallest particle size exhibited the highest modulus at 100%
(M100 ), tensile strength, and elongation at break. The values were higher in the
longitudinal direction than that of in the transverse direction of fibre orientation.
Increasing the fibre loading resulted in a rise in the torque value, tensile strength
and hardness of the composite. The mechanical properties were further enhanced when
a dry bonding system comprising resorcinol, hexamethylene tetramine and silica was
used as a bonding agent in the composites. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs
confirmed that the bonding agent helped to improve interfacial strength of the fibre
composites. Vulcanisates containing kenaf bast fibre exhibit better mechanical properties
compared to that containing kenaf core fibre.
M. Abu Bakar, J. Ismail, C.H. Teoh, W.L. Tan and S. Ong
A direct synthesis of gold nanoparticles in a purely organic environment using 2-propanol
as the reducing agent and epoxidised natural rubber (ENR-50) as the polymer stabiliser
is described. Experimental parameters such as reaction temperature and concentration
of gold ions were scrutinised in order to study the effect on size, morphology and
dispersion of the gold nanoparticles. Preparations at temperatures £ 70°C or employing
high concentrations of gold ions produced large particles of various geometrical
structures with some of sponge like appearance while those prepared at ³ 80°C or
at low concentrations of gold ions produced fine particles of spherical or near
spherical shape. The particles were well dispersed in the ENR matrix. The formation
of ENR-stabilised gold organosol was relatively fast ca. 1-3 hrs. Therefore synthesis
of ENR-gold composite in organic solvent was capable of producing small sized and
spherical particles when the synthesis was carried out at high temperatures and
low concentration of gold ions was used.
Mary Alexander, Beena T. Abraham and Eby Thomas Thachil
The comparative performance of cardanol, the main ingredient of cashew nut shell
liquid (CSNL) for plasticising carbon black-filled acrylonitrile – butadiene rubber
(NBR) is presented. The performance of dioctyl phthalate (DOP), a common plasticiser
for NBR was compared with that of cardanol in terms of the cure characteristics,
mechanical properties, thermal ageing properties, crosslink density and extractability.
While both these plasticisers showed almost equivalent performance in respect of
most properties, a clear superiority was bodytextd for cardanol in the case of extractability
after varying periods of ageing at 100°C. This alludes to the resistance of cardanol-plasticised
NBR to ageing and a lessened possibility of it being leached out / blooming out
on prolonged use. The demonstrated usefulness of cardanol, a renewable, agro-byproduct
for NBR processing is significant.
Dayang Habibah Abg Ismawi, J.F. Harper and A. Ansarifar
A combination of decabromodiphenyl oxide (DBBO) and antimony trioxide (Sb2O3)
is a widely used flame retardant system for rubber compounds. In addition to cost
effectiveness, thermal and mechanical performance, halogen content is responsible
for its low flammability characteristics. Nevertheless, there are concerns on the
corrosiveness and toxicity of smoke and other emission products generated during
the combustion of rubbers utilising these materials. Fillers such as aluminium hydroxide
(ATH), organoclay and zinc hydroxystannate (ZHS) have been used as alternative halogen-free
flame retardants. This paper describes the effect of these flame retardants on flammability
behaviour and tensile strength of natural rubber (NR). ZHS is an alternative to
Sb2O3 because of the former’s smoke suppression properties.
However, similar to Sb2O3, it does not have flame retarding
properties on its own. ZHS loaded at 20 p.p.h.r. in combination with 40 p.p.h.r.
chlorinated paraffin (CP) showed better flammability performance. Results from the
National Bureau of Standard (NBS) smoke box showed that this compound gave lower
smoke density compared to a similar compound with antimony trioxide in place of
the ZHS. In general however, partial replacement of flame retardant (FR) additives
in NR compounds by ZHS produced no synergistic improvement in fire retardant behaviour.
Yield of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell.- Arg.) in Tripura, a sub-optimal area,
has low and high yielding regimes. Data on overall means, low and high yielding
periods for 11 years (1990 to 2001) were separately analysed via GGE biplot to judge
specific adaptation of clones. Stability estimates viz., ecovalence, stability variance,
s2, Huehn’s non-parametric statistics and Lin and Binn’s superiority measure were
also calculated. These estimates were comparable except for Huehn’s non-parametric
statistics. GGE biplot analysis was conducted under symmetrical, entry-focused and
tester-focused procedures. While entry-focused scaling for overall means kept years
towards a single cluster presuming that all clones were performing comparably over
the years, under tester-focused scaling, the years were well spread, indicating
the climates of all the years were not same. Overall genotype means were high for
PB 235, RRII 203, RRIM 600, RRII 118 and RRIM 703. The symmetrical scaling of data
of regime II showed 1999 and 2000 exhibiting higher principal component analysis
(PCA) 1 values. Clones RRII 105, RRII 118, RRIM 703 and PB 235 were high yielders
under this regime. The performance of clones was different when mean values were
plotted against PCA values. While RRII 105, RRIM 703, RRIM 600 and RRII 118 were
most stable under regime I, RRIM 605 had a higher stability under regime II. Under
both circumstances, PB 235 and RRII 203 were high yielders. When overall means were
plotted, RRII 105, RRIM 703, RRII 118 and PB 235 were bodytextd to be most stable over
11 years. Under all these years, PB 235, RRII 203 and RRIM 600 were high yielding.
S. Anitha, V. Devaraj and M. N. Zairossani
A study was conducted to investigate flux behavior during a cross-flow ultrafiltration
(UF) process to concentrate natural rubber skim latex, with in-situ sonication.
Tubular polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes with 200kD molecular weight cut-off
(MWCO) were selected for this study. Experiments were conducted to study the effect
of skim latex preservation level with and without sonication at a transmembrane
pressure (TMP) of 2 bar. Results showed the permeate flux remained constant with
sonication, and a decline in flux was observed without sonication. This study was
also able to determine the ideal preservation level where the in-situ sonication
improved the permeate flux without affecting the stability of the feed. This ideal
preservation becomes the optimum preservation level required for skim latex recovery
by ultrafiltration with in-situ sonication. The study showed that the flux with
an intermittent ultrasonic application with sonication ratio of 1 was comparable
to that for continuous sonication.
Manroshan, S., Amir-Hashim M.Y. and Booten, K.
Recent development in surfactant technology has made it possible to produce surfactants
based on plant extracts. A new material based on polyfructose extracted from roots
of chicory was used as a stabiliser in 50% ZDBC dispersion and the properties were
evaluated and compared with other systems. Although results of the light scattering
technique did not show much difference in the particle size, a marked difference
in the particle shape was observed when Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) was
used. TEM micrographs of ammonium caseinate stabilised dispersion showed formation
of uneven, saw like shaped particles with a wide particle size distribution whereas
polyfructose stabilised dispersion showed formation of very even, circular shaped
particles with a narrow particle size distribution. Viscosity results of polyfructose
stabilised dispersion showed a pseudoplastic behavior similar to normal dispersion
systems. Although a hard sediment formed with ammonium caseinate stabilised dispersion,
no caking was observed in the polyfructose stabilised dispersion.
Raju, P., Nandanan, V. and Sunil, K.N. Kutty
Plasticisers such as minerals oils and synthetic oils were used in rubber compounds
for improved processability, filler uptake and to reduce cost. Mechanical properties
and thermal degradation of natural rubber compounds containing linseed oil had been
studied to evaluate its suitability as a plasticiser. Naphthenic oil was used as
a reference plasticiser. Tear strength, modulus, resilience and compression set
of mixes containing linseed oil were improved compared with those containing naphthenic
oil. Thermal studies showed an increase of 7°C in the temperature of initiation
of degradation and an increase of 4°C in temperature at which peak rate of degradation
occurred. The peak rate of degradation was comparable to that of the reference compound.
S. Obouayeba, E.F. Soumahin, A.M.C. Boko, G.B. Dea, K. Dian and Y.M. Gnagne
In smallholdings nine to twelve years of downward tapping was carried out on virgin
barks followed by downward tapping on renewed barks, a total period of exploitation
not exceeding 20 years. However in industrial plantations, downward and upward tapping
of rubber trees resulted up to 36 years of exploitation. The study was conducted
to assess the feasibility of upward tapping in smallholding conditions in four locations.
Downward tapping on renewed barks (½ S d/3 6d/7 ET 2.5% Pa 1(1) 10/y(m))
was compared to upward tapping on virgin barks: ¼ S ↑ d/3 6d/7 ET 5%
Pa 1(1) 10/y(m) and ½ S ↑ d/6 6d/7 ET 2.5% Pa 2(1) 10/ y(m). The performance
of these tapping systems were assessed for rubber production, vegetative growth,
physiological profile and the tapping panel dryness (TPD) susceptibility of rubber
trees. The productivity of downward tapping was satisfactory, but significantly
lower than that of upward tapping systems. In fact, compared to downward tapping,
upward tapping increased the rubber tree productivity by 34% and 36% for the quarter
cut and half spiral cut respectively. Generally, the physiological profile of all
tested systems were good, with little occurrence of TPD. Thus, in smallholdings,
nine years of downward tapping followed by upward tapping, especially the upward
quarter spiral, turned out to be the best tapping system in Côte d'Ivoire.
Yahya Abd Karim
Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) is one of the most important agricultural industries
in Malaysia. Its production provides the livelihood of large segments of the Malaysian
population consisting of smallholders, estate workers and their families. Being
a complex agricultural system, a model would help to organise available information
or knowledge in order to identify gaps and direct future research in rubber based
systems. It may also help in the process of dissemination of the technology to farmers
as well as rubber planters. Hence, an attempt is made to develop a model to predict
the growth of rubber under different planting densities, climate, clones and management.
Validation results show that the model is able to simulate growth (girth) from different
range of environment and rubber clones from Malaysia with the modelling efficiency
(EF) of 0.87.
K.C. Yong, P.J.S. Foot, H. Morgan, S. Cook, A.J. Tinker and Md Aris Ahmad
Epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) and polyaniline dodecylbenzenesulfonate (PAni.DBSA)
were predicted to be miscible, on the basis of simple solubility parameter calculations.
Blends with electrical conductivities up to
10–3S.cm–1 were prepared for the first time by solution mixing.
The lowest estimated electrical conductivity percolation threshold for these blends
was 2.9 wt% or 2.5 volume% of added PAni.DBSA. NMR spectroscopy showed that the
epoxide level of the host, ENR decreased with increasing PAni.DBSA loading (due
to the sensitive nature of ENR to acidic conditions). This decrease was a direct
sign of ring opening in the ENR molecular structure. The ring opening of ENR was
also identified indirectly through the increasing absorption value of FT-IR peaks
in the region of 3390 cm–1 and through the trends observed by differential
scanning calorimetry (DSC). Electrical conductivity measurement and morphology studies
[by optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM)] revealed that
the ring opening did not affect the electrical properties of the blends.
Daniel Derouet and Chi Nhan Ha Thuc
Synthetic silicas are used increasingly in tyre tread compounds. However, their
use as fillers for hydrophobic rubbers (synthetic polydienes, natural rubber) is
questionable unless a silanecoupling agent is introduced to bind the silica to the
rubbers and to prevent it from interfering with the reaction mechanism of the sulphur-cure
system. In order to improve the interphase strengths between silica and hydrophobic
rubber, as well as to suppress the effects of silanol groups on sulphur-cured systems,
polyisoprene-grafted silicas were synthesised. The principle of the synthesis was
based on the “living” radical photopolymerisation initiated from the silica surface.
For that, a two-step procedure was adopted. First, silica particles were functionalised
with N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate iniferter groups, by using a SN2 substitution of
chlorine atoms previously bound on silica surface. Following this, photopolymerisation
of isoprene was carried out from the N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate iniferter groups
and the polymerisation progress was simultaneously followed by HPLC and NMR. Functionalised
silicas and polyisoprene-grafted silicas were characterised by solid-state 13C
and 29Si CP/MAS NMR.
Nurul Hayati Yusof, Seiichi Kawahara and Ma'zam Md Said
Natural Rubber (NR) latex was deproteinised by incubation with urea in the presence
of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). Urea deproteinised natural rubber (U-DPNR) latex
was graft-copolymerised with Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) at a monomer feed of 5, 10,
15 and 20 wt % on rubber. The monomer content, monomer conversion and grafting efficiency
of the copolymerisation reaction were determined. The resulting graft copolymers
were characterised by FT-IR spectroscopy and morphology observed using a transmission
electron microscope (TEM). The monomer content, conversion and grafting efficiency
of NR-graft-PMMA, U-DPNR-graft-PMMA and E-DPNR-graft-PMMA were compared as well.
The results showed that, MMA feed of 15 wt % on rubber, initiator concentration
of 6.6 X 10–5 mol/g-rubber and reaction temperature at 30ºC were found
to be suitable conditions to obtain high MMA content, high conversion and high grafting
efficiency. The highest grafting efficiency was about 80% at 15 wt % on rubber feed
of MMA for U-DPNR-graft-PMMA and E-DPNR-graft-PMMA.
A.P. Susamma, A.M. Mini and A.P. Kuriakose
All rubbers have shortcomings in one or more properties. There are therefore technical
reasons for blending different elastomers as it makes it possible to obtain the
desired compromise in properties. Natural rubber (NR) is a versatile raw material
on account of its unique chemical and physical properties. Polychloroprene rubber
(CR) is known for its good flame resistance, resistance to oil and ozone but is
more costly. A blend of NR and CR will make a desirable compromise in the individual
properties. Thiourea (TU) and its derivatives are widely used in CR and NR latex
vulcanisation. Ethylene thiourea (NA22), the conventional accelerator used in CR
vulcanisation is reported to be toxic in nature.
We synthesised a thiourea derivative viz. N-amidino-N’-phenyl thiourea (APT) which
is a non-toxic chemical and attempted the use of APT, as a secondary accelerator
for the vulcanisation of NR-CR blends. Systems with varying concentrations of APT
along with tetramethyl thiuram disulphide (TMTD) and other compounding ingredients
were prepared in unfilled and filled systems. TMTD-TU and TMTD-NA22 binary combinations
were taken as controls. Different cure characteristics and various physical properties
of the experimental and control systems were investigated.
Studies showed that APT could be advantageously used as a secondary accelerator
along with TMTD. The different vulcanisates prepared with this non-toxic accelerator
showed better/ comparable tensile and other physical properties compared with the
A series of tests have been carried out on two example filled natural rubber (NR)
and styrenebutadiene rubber (SBR) compounds in which the rubbers were scragged to
a series of increasing shear strains and the effect of this on the dynamic properties
at the lower strains were measured. After a long period, the tests were repeated
to measure the recovery in the materials. It was found that increasing the scragging
strain caused the rubber stiffness at lower strains to fall continuously, with no
sign that it would reach a constant value and that while there was some recovery
over time, it is not thought that the rubber would ever recover its initial stiffness.
S. Ostad-Movahed, A. Ansarifar and M. Song
A modulated-temperature differential scanning calorimetry (M-TDSC) method was used
to calculate the mass fraction of interphase and determine its composition in some
SBR/BR and NR/BR blends. Effects of mixing time, mixing temperature, rotor speed,
silica nanofiller, and mass fraction of pure rubbers on the mass fraction and composition
of the interphase in the blends were investigated. It emerged that increases in
mixing time and temperature, incorporation of the filler in the rubbers, and changes
in the blend composition affected the properties of the interphase. Furthermore,
M-TDSC was found to be a useful technique for studying interphases in blends of
dissimilar as well as partially miscible rubbers and estimating their compositions.
The measurements were also sensitive to the mixing conditions, rubber composition
and silica filler in the rubbers
A. Ikram and M.Y. Amir-Hashim
The endotoxin levels of Malaysian Natural Rubber (NR) latex medical gloves were
determined by a kinetic turbidimetric Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay. The
samples evaluated were 39 pairs of sterilised surgical gloves from 10 commercially-available
brands and 21 pairs of non-sterilised examination gloves from 8 brands. The endotoxin
concentrations ranged from 3.2 to 114.1 EU/glove pair for surgical gloves and from
< 8.4 to 9,632 EU/glove pair for the examination gloves. In the case of surgical
gloves, 72% had endotoxin activity below the specified FDA standard of 20 EU/device,
while in the case of the non-sterilised examination gloves, only 38% had values
below the specified level. There was no correlation between endotoxin concentrations
and the presence of glove powders in the present study.
K. Vivayganathan, M. Asrul and M.Y. Amir-Hashim
Improvement in static dissipative properties of cast films prepared from blends
of natural rubber latex and 2-(Dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA)-grafted
NR latex was demonstrated. The relative changes in surface properties of the cast
films prepared from latex blends were investigated using surface resistivity measurements,
contact angle and Fourier Transform Infrared-Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR).
The results indicated that static dissipative properties and surface related properties,
such as surface energy and wettability could be enhanced provided that an appropriate
blend ratio of the DMAEMA-grafted NR latex and an effective amount of monomer was
used in the preparation of the grafted NR latex. Differences in the properties of
film surfaces, the air-facing and former-facing surfaces are also described.
Jun-Hong Yu, Xia Zeng, Shu-Guang Yang, Hua-Sun Huang and Wei-Min Tian
Early selection based on parameters related to yield is important in the Hevea breeding
program. In an attempt to characterise such parameters, we investigated the variation
in TNLD (time needed for laticifer differentiation) of the 1981 IRRDB germplasm
collections by means of an experimental system for the induction of secondary laticifer
differentiation in relation to RLCL (ratio of laticifer rows to the cell layers
of the functional phloem) and rubber yield of the corresponding mature germplasm
collections. The results demonstrated that TNLD varied among the 63 germplasm collections
examined and was correlated to RLCL (r=0.5795, highly significant) and rubber yield
(r=0.4558, significant level) of the mature plants. TNLD is expected to be a parameter
candidate for early selection, which is better than the leaflet latex method in
that it is related to the secondary laticifer differentiation and also better than
test-tapping yield method in that early selection can be carried out with one-year-old
epicormic shoot in the nursery. Large scale experiment is necessary to confirm this
T.R. Chandrasekhar and T. Gireesh
The usefulness of collecting latex as yield in test-tapping of Hevea seedlings
for juvenile selection was assessed. Latex volume was recorded as yield instead
of dry rubber. Data were recorded from each tapping for each of the test-tapped
seedlings using graduated microcentrifuge/ centrifuge tubes. Dry rubber content
(DRC) of top selections was determined for calculation of rubber yield. Mean range
in latex yields among the tapped seedlings was 0.07 mL t–1 t–1
to 16.46 mL t–1 t–1 (mL per tree per tapping). Mean rubber
yields in the top 20% selections from 10 tappings varied from 4.25 g t–1
10t–1 to 41.37 g t–1 10t–1 (grams per tree per
10 tappings). DRC among the top 20% selections varied from 14.3% to 38%. It was
concluded that in juvenile selection of Hevea seedlings, yields determined as latex
volume could result in more accurate yield recordings. Furthermore, the latex could
be used to determine rubber content for eliminating the very low DRC seedlings.
Information on biochemical and physiological determinants of yield could also be
extracted in an effort to enhance probability of potential selections.
A. Ikram, K.P. Ng, M.Y. Amir Hashim and M.S. Fauzi
The effect of residual diethyldithiocarbamate on the environmental degradation of
prevulcanised natural rubber latex films was studied in the presence of zinc oxide
and a conventional phenolic antioxidant. The films were buried in a clayey soil
at 40% field capacity and retrieved after 24 and 48 weeks. The overall degradation
was significantly greater for films without zinc oxide and without Wingstay L®,
as well as for films prepared at longer vulcanisation process times. Films prepared
with zinc oxide and Wingstay L®showed generally smooth surfaces after
24 weeks, compared to films prepared without zinc oxide or Wingstay L®that
had cracks and voids across the surfaces. The concentrations of residual dithiocarbamates
remaining could offer an explanation as to why some of the film pieces were slow
to degrade, despite the higher degree of crosslinking formed.
Mohd Rozi Ahmad, Wan Yunus Wan Ahmad, Azemi Samsuri and Jamil Salleh
The intrinsic properties of natural rubber latex (NRL) such as excellent strength,
adhesion and flexibility make it very suitable for coating on textile fabrics. In
this study, high strength fabrics were coated with NRL and assembled with uncoated
fabrics into several fabric systems. The fabric systems were shot with 9 mm bullets
at 367 ± 9 m/s to assess the blunt trauma performances. The results showed that
both the 18-layer and 21-layer uncoated fabric systems failed the blunt trauma test.
However, fabric systems with NRL coated fabric layers gave lower blunt trauma of
between 25 mm – 32 mm indentation depths. The modes of failure after the ballistic
impact were believed to be closely related with friction among the yarns in the
NRL coated fabrics. The relative measure of friction was evaluated through the yarn
pull-out strength and puncture resistance tests on the uncoated and NRL coated fabrics.
Higher frictional effects were evident from the NRL coated fabrics in comparison
with the uncoated fabrics.
D. Dazylah, M.S. Ma'zam and M.Y. Amir Hashim
The effect of ageing on tensile properties and micro-structure of peroxide prevulcanised
natural rubber latex (PPVL) films (with and without antioxidant Irganox 1520®)
was studied. The modulus of peroxide prevulcanisates containing Irganox 1520®generally
decreased with increasing ageing time at 100ºC. However, there appeared a cyclical
increase and decrease of modulus at about one hour intervals over the 0-12 hours
ageing time studied. FTIR analysis of films showed evidence of oxidative reaction
in aged films whereby the relevant FTIR peaks of natural rubber, C=CH2at
845 cm-1and polyisoprene peak at 2958 cm-1, 1576 cm-1,
1470 cm-1, 1126 cm-1and 845 cm-1, weakened gradually
with ageing time. The observation was supported by an NMR study which showed appearance
of extra peaks in the spectra, identified as belonging to the relevant degradation
products. As the ageing process progressed, the NMR analysis showed a film with
a minimum line broadening measure the hydrogen percentage calculated from NMR (H%),
indicating a high polymer chain mobility, corresponding to high tensile strength
with a modulus at 300 (M300) value of about 0.85 MPa. Transmission Electron Micrographs
(TEMs) of unaged peroxide prevulcanised natural rubber latex films showed a mesh
of stained network surrounding white domains, whilst aged films tended to show a
more distinct staining over the entire surface of the particles. However, this phenomenon
was not observed in films protected by Irganox 1520®antioxidant.
H.Y. Yeang, S.A.M. Arif, Y.H. Loke, N.P. Chew and S.M. Mohsin
Although the latex protein, hevein, has received much research interest, its analysis
by conventional SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis has been problematic. Hevein
does not migrate at a rate that commensurates with its molecular weight and it does
not always produce a sharp band on a polyacrylamide gel. To compound this problem,
hevein is difficult to stain because it has a tendency to diffuse out of the gel
during the de-staining process. Moreover, hevein Western blot is difficult to perform
because, as a small protein, it easily passes through a nitrocellulose membrane
during electro-transfer. Using the tricine SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
system that is optimised for small proteins and peptides, hevein migrated in the
gel at a rate consistent with its molecular weight of 4.7 kDa, although the migration
rate was significantly reduced under non-reducing conditions. Addition of phosphotungstic
acid to the Coomassie blue stain fixed hevein and prevented its loss by diffusion
out of the gel. Hevein could be effectively Western blotted on to the PVDF membrane
and fixed with glutaraldehyde, after which, the protein was detectable using anti-hevein
antibody. Although hevein is an unglycosylated protein, it was found to be associated
with carbohydrate, probably through its lectin property in binding carbohydrate.
K.M. Okoma, K. Dian, A. Sangare and S. Ake
The rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis, is an Euphorbiaceous species from the
Amazonian basin cultivated for latex production. The physiological syndrome, tapping
panel dryness, which stops latex flow, affects natural rubber production. Sensitivity
of Hevea brasiliensis to this syndrome depends on the clone. To understand the molecular
level of this sensitivity difference, the polypeptides of rubber particles were
analysed in different clones using two-dimensional electrophoresis. The present
study highlighted a relation between the clonal sensitivity and the variation of
the accumulation of six acidic polypeptides. These polypeptides correspond probably
to isoelectric variants of two, 14.5 kDa and 26.0 kDa major proteins. Five among
these polypeptides (P2, P4, P5, P8 and P9) were expressed abundantly in the most
sensitive clones while the latter (P3) presented a very weak expression among these
clones. These polypeptides that fluctuate according to the sensitivity of the clones
can be used as markers for tapping panel dryness sensitivity and serve as tools
for precocious selection of tolerant clones.
common practice in the manufacture of cylindrical rubber bushes is to apply a radial
contraction to the outer sleeve or a radial expansion to the inner sleeve after
moulding – a process known as swaging. This relieves tensile stresses which arise
due to differential thermal contraction of the rubber and the sleeves and, if a
sufficiently large swaging strain is applied, this compresses the bush which improves
its fatigue life. A Finite Element Analysis (FEA) investigation of the effect of
swaging on the small strain stiffnesses of some representative, initially stress-free,
bushes was carried out. The axial and torsional stiffnesses reduce slightly as the
swaging strain increases, contrary to the effect of dimensional changes alone, whereas
the radial and tilting stiffnesses increase as predicted from dimensional changes.
The reduction in the axial and tilting stiffness was attributed to the effect of
compressive stresses introduced by swaging. An approximate estimate of the bush
stiffnesses may be obtained from existing theoretical formulae if the original dimensions
are used in the calculation of the axial and torsional stiffness and the swaged
dimensions are used in the calculation of radial and tilting stiffness.
A. Ansarifar, G.W. Critchlow, R. Guo, R.J. Ellis, S.P. Kirtley and B. Seymour
Rubber chemicals are added to raw rubbers to improve their mechanical, environmental
and processing properties. These chemicals often migrate to the surface and alter
its free energy and ultimately its contact adhesion properties. In this study, some
industrially important rubber chemicals were mixed with natural rubber and a blend
of natural rubber and styrene-butadiene rubber, and the contact angle measured using
drops of water and diiodomethane on the rubber surface. The data from these measurements
were subsequently used to calculate the surface free energy of the rubbers. Some
of the chemicals had a detrimental effect on the surface free energy of the rubbers.
This was also confirmed by static secondary ion mass spectrometry, which indicated
a substantial surface modification of the rubbers.
Manroshan, S., Amir-Hashim M.Y. and Booten, K.
Natural rubber (NR) latex is a dispersion of rubber particles in an aqueous phase.
By virtue of the naturally occurring surface active materials surrounding each particle,
the rubber particles are therefore prevented from coalescing together. However,
microbe activities in non-preserved latex may destroy the surface active properties
of these natural materials. Hence, NR latex is typically preserved with ammonia
to maintain its alkalinity of pH 10 and above. In this study, a biobased surfactant
was added to the deammoniated natural rubber latex concentrate to enhance the stability
of the latex. The hydrophobically modified polyfructose (Inutec®SP1),
thought to be similar to some of the naturally occurring surfactants on the rubber
was incorporated into the latex at different ratios and its effect on some of the
important properties of the latex were investigated. The addition of 0.25 p.h.r.
of the surfactant increased the mechanical stability time (MST) of the latex concentrates
by 500 s. Up to six weeks of storage, not much change was observed in the viscosity
although the volatile fatty acid number (VFA No.) of the concentrates increased
slightly. However, as the pH reduced further below 10, the effectiveness of the
surfactant decreased. The MST reduced whereas the VFA No. and viscosity of the latex
K. Mariamma George, G. Rajammal, Geethakumary Amma and N.M. Mathew
An attempt was made to produce low protein natural rubber (NR) latex suitable for
making surgical gloves with low levels of extractable protein content in a single
centrifuging process. Stabilised liquid papain from papaya plant (Carica papaya)
at two dosages viz., 0.25 p.h.r. and 0.5 p.h.r. was used for latex deproteinization.
A process was standardised for the deproteinization of NR latex by conducting laboratory,
pilot plant and plant trials. Processing and technological properties of these low
protein latices were assessed. Surgical gloves were prepared in an automatic dipping
plant under different conditions of leaching. The extractable protein content and
physical properties of the gloves were determined. The results showed that low protein
latex prepared using 0.25 p.h.r. of liquid papain produced gloves of extractable
protein (EP) content less than 50 µg/dm2. Antigenic protein content obtained
for the samples were also less than 10 µg/dm2. Continuous production
of surgical gloves from this latex by on line wet gel and post-cure leaching was
found to give low protein gloves with good physical properties. The effect of slurry
dip on protein content could be controlled more effectively using this latex as
the amount of EP content in the original latex was low and hence the amount of proteins
leaching into the slurry would also be less.
Storage behaviour of this latex and its vulcanizates was studied in comparison to
normal centrifuged latex (cenex). Changes in raw latex properties such as volatile
fatty acids, mechanical stability time, potassium hydroxide number and zinc oxide
viscosity were comparable for both the latices. But the change in EP content for
low protein latex vulcanizates was from 68 to 88 µg/dm2 where as for
the cenex, the increase was from 150 to 368 µg/dm2. Physical properties
of latex film vulcanizates were more or less unaffected by storage.
Yahya Abd Karim
An effort was made to validate the WaNuLCAS (Water, Nutrients, and Light Capture
in Agroforestry Systems) model in order to test its efficiency to predict growth
(girth), yield, above-ground biomass as well as leaves and twigs biomass of Hevea
brasiliensis. The model was run for 20 years, representing the economic life span
of rubber. The output of the simulation was compared with the observed data for
validation purposes. Results from the statistical analysis showed that the model
was able to simulate girth, rubber production, above-ground biomass and leaves and
twigs biomass with efficiencies (EF) of 0.83, 0.97, 0.70 and -0.15 respectively.
EF measures the accuracy of the model in performing simulation as compared to experimental
data. The optimum value of EF is 1. The negative value for leaves and twigs biomass
indicated that the observed mean value was better than the predicted value.
Standard dynamic testing requires strict proportionality between stress and strain
for valid resolution of the (measured) complex modulus into its elastic and viscous
components. Thus, it is restricted to material and/or testing conditions that correspond
to linear viscoelastic behaviour; otherwise ‘apparent’ results are obtained, with
therefore limited meaning, if any, in terms of material science. Correct non-linear
harmonic testing under large amplitude oscillatory strain is however feasible today
using purposely modified torsional rheometers to capture full strain and torque
signals which are appropriately treated in order to extract pertinent and useful
information. Harmonic techniques that require signal processing to convert the response
of the material in the time domain into a material property in the frequency domain
are usually referred to as Fourier Transform (FT) rheometry, i.e. a development
of the so-called dynamic (or harmonic) testing to investigate both the linear and
the non-linear viscoelastic domains of polymer materials. It consists essentially
of considering the frequency spectrum of the torque signal obtained when submitting
a material to high strain. Contrary to standard dynamic testing, no validity condition
is needed for FT rheometry. In principle, any dynamic rheometer can conveniently
be modified for FT testing, but implementation of the technique on a commercial
torsional rheometer, operating with a closed test cavity, proved to give repeatable
and reliable results on a number of polymer systems. A series of natural rubber
gum samples were tested in order to further illustrate the capabilities of the technique.
Asrul, M.*#, Kawahara, S.** and Amir-Hashim M.Y.*
Modified natural rubber latex having relatively high resistance to thermo-oxidative
ageing was prepared from in situ polymerization of lignin related compounds in the
presence of styrene and lignosulfonate salt. High tensile strength retention of
the modified rubber latex films on ageing were shown to be attainable by addition
of appropriate lignin related compounds in the modification reaction. Molecular
weight and gel content determination indicated that the simultaneous effect of rubber
degradation as a side effect of modification was negligible in the batches comprising
ferulic acid and coumaric acid. The viability of the modified rubber in the use
as technological rubber latex products which requires higher resistance to oxidative
ageing was assessed.
E. Sunderasan*,#, S.K. Ling**, Siti Arija Mad Arif* And H.Y. Yeang*
Filtration of Hevea bark extract through Millipore spin cartridge (molecular weight
cut-off at 100 kDa) yielded a brown slurry retentate and a clear liquid in the flow
through fraction. The retentate was then separated by preparative reverse phase
high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the brown bark pigment was recovered
in a broad peak. The whole bark extract, the spin cartridge retentate, and the brown
HPLC fraction, readily destabilised the high density rubber particles (Zone 2 and
Zone 3) suspensions but only negligible destabilising activity was observed with
the clear spin cartridge flow through fraction. Destabilisation of Zone 1 rubber
particles by whole bark extract, spin cartridge retentate, and the brown HPLC fraction
occurred only when C-serum was substituted with Zone 3 rubber particles in the reaction
mixture. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and polyethylene glycol (PEG), which are known
to bind phenolic compounds/tannins, effectively precipitated the brown pigment of
the bark extract. The clear supernatant recovered from the PVP and PEG treated bark
extract also failed to induce rubber particle destabilisation. The presence of substantial
levels of phenolics in the bark extract was confirmed by a modified Folin-Ciocalteau
assay. Analyses on thin layer chromatography indicated that the brown pigment of
the bark extract consists of highly polymeric condensed tannins. Analytical reverse
phase HPLC revealed that three different peaks with UV spectra similar to those
of tannins, and one peak that resembles phenolics could be separated from the bark
extract, and its spin cartridge retentate.
S. Sreelatha*#, Sheela P. Simon*, G. Muraleedhara Kurup** and K.R. Vijayakumar***
Variation in yield, latex physiological parameters, enzymes involved in carbohydrate
and thiol metabolism, antioxidant enzymes and enzymes related to cessation of latex
flow were studied in clone RRII 105 during peak yielding and low yielding stress
(summer) seasons. A significant reduction in dry rubber yield was observed during
the stress period compared to the peak yielding season. Latex flow characteristics,
metabolism of carbohydrate and thiols, and activities of antioxidant enzymes showed
significant variation between seasons. The present study revealed that even though
thiol metabolism is activated during stress, decline in cytosolic invertase, superoxide
dismutase, catalase and B-serum N-acetyl glucosaminidase activity lead to lower
yield during the stress period in clone RRII 105. The significance of these physiological
and biochemical parameters are discussed in relation to yield obtained during the
peak yielding and stress seasons.
I.K. Okore*#, F.A. Akpobome*, H. Tijani-Eniola** and E.A. Oghide*
Vast amount of resources are devoted annually for the establishment of Hevea
seedling rootstock nursery through conventional tillage, despite global disposition
of conservative tillage. A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect
of tillage methods, namely, plough+harrow, plough only, bed and without tillage
on the growth performance of Hevea brasiliensis (natural rubber) seedling
rootstock and the nutrient status of sandy acid soil in a forest area (Benin) of
Nigeria for two years. In both cropping years (2003/2004 and 2004/2005) , the effect
of tillage methods on seedling height and stem girth did not differ significantly
(P³0.05). However, seedling dry matter and budding success
(69.8 g/tree and 78% on the average, respectively) were significantly higher in
the ploughed plots. The plots with no tillage, followed by raised seedbed treatments,
had significantly higher values of organic C, available P and exchangeable bases
with low levels of Al3+and H+at 0 cm ¾
15 cm depth. Having recorded no significant difference in crop performance between
the nil-tillage and plough+harrow plots, but higher soil nutrient levels in the
treatments without tillage for two years; it could be predicted that land preparation
without tillage, in addition to ploughing only or raised seed-bed was a better alternative
to plough+harrow which often caused soil degradation in the sandy acid soil of high
The recently identified rubber allergen Hev b 11, which is a class I chitinase,
may be a cytosolic (C-serum) protein. This is a rather unique feature, as all other
known plant class I chitinases are vacuolar proteins.
Raju, P., Nandanan, V. and Sunil, K.N. Kutty
Mechanical properties and thermal degradation characteristics of natural rubber
compounds containing coconut oil were compared with that of a control compound containing
naphthenic oil. Cure time was marginally lower in the case of coconut oil mixes,
probably due to the presence of free fatty acids. Tensile strength, tear strength,
resilience and abrasion resistance were better than the naphthenic oil-based compounds.
Compression set and hardness were marginally inferior. The coconut oil mixes had
a crosslink density comparable to that of the reference compound. Thermal studies
showed that the temperature of initiation of degradation was increased by 10ºC and
the temperature at which the peak rate of degradation occured was increased by 7ºC.
The peak rate of degradation was comparable to the control compound.
R. Reji Kumar, S. Najamul Hussain and J. Philip
A new method to determine the dry rubber content (DRC) of natural rubber latex using
a capacitive transducer is presented. The capacitance of a capacitor is directly
proportional to the area of the plates, permittivity of the medium and inversely
proportional to the separation between the plates. If the area of the plates and
the separation between them are kept constant, the capacitance is directly proportional
to the permittivity of the medium. Based on this physical principle, a capacitive
transducer was specially designed and fabricated. The capacitance of the capacitor
with latex samples as the dielectric was measured with a high impedance LCR meter.
Simultaneously, the DRC of the same latex samples was determined following standard
laboratory procedures. Statistical analysis of the results showed that there was
a good correlation between the capacitance with Hevea latex as the dielectric and
the corresponding DRC values. Related parameters such as dissipation factor, electrical
resistivity, impedance and susceptibility were found to be proportional to the DRC
values of latex.
Mohd Akbar Md Said and Mohd Fauzi Ramlan
The effect of different methods of latex extraction (T) and stimulation (S) on the
status of nutrient present in the latex, bark and leaf of clone RRIM 901, Panel
BO-1 was studied to establish a relationship between the status of nutrient
in tissue and tree productivity. The results showed no consistent pattern on the
influence of the interaction effect of T X S on the drainage of elements from the
latex and removal of nutrient from the bark. The influence of T X S interaction
on N and Mg was observed both in the latex and the bark, while for P and K, the
influence was confined solely in the latex or the bark. The study indicated that
nutritional stress possibly caused the declining yield response as obtained from
gaseous stimulation on young Hevea trees of clone RRIM 901, Panel BO-1.
Therefore, to achieve sustainable crop production, it is essential to have a balanced
situation between the amount of crop harvested and the ability of the tree to replenish,
not only the crop harvested but also the amount of elements lost in the latex and
bark after completion of tapping.
Sherin George, Jacob John, Phebe Joseph, Annie Philip and K.I. Punnoose
Runoff and erosion substantially and seriously limit crop production in a tropical
country like India. Appropriate runoff management techniques that enhance water
conservation and reduce erosion to acceptable rates minimise these effects. The
effect of conservation pits on soil moisture conservation and growth and yield of
rubber was evaluated in a field experiment conducted from 1998 to 2005 in a mature
rubber plantation in the central region of the traditional rubber growing tract
in India. The treatments comprised conservation pits taken at the rate of 100, 150,
200 and 250 ha–1and a control without pits. The experimental field was
well drained with an average gradient of 17% – 22%. Growth and yield of rubber were
significantly influenced by the presence of pits. Yield of rubber was enhanced by
15% in the plots with 250 pits ha–1. Soil moisture storage estimated
at depths of 10, 20, 30, 40, 60 and 100 cm, was substantially higher where pits
were at the rate of 250 ha–1, indicating the contribution of pits towards
ground water recharge. The presence of pits positively influenced the leaf water
potential. The quantity of soil conserved in the pits ranged from 4.58 t ha–1–
10.42 t ha–1as the number of pits increased from 100 to 250. The quantity
of nutrient conserved ranged from 12–29, 6–13 and 27–62 kg ha–1of N,
P and K respectively. The proposed field water harvesting technique was proved to
be quite useful in the conservation of soil and water in rubber.
C.K. Jacob, P. Srinivas, E.E. Prem, M.J. Manju, S.K. Mushrif and S.P. Idicula
Rubber seed oil (RSO) was evaluated for its potential use in oil-based spray formulations
against abnormal leaf fall disease of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) which could influence
the economics of disease management. A mixture of RSO and mineral spray oil (SO)
in a proportion of 1:2 was assessed as a carrier for the fungicide copper oxychloride
(COC), in comparison with SO alone. The scope for reducing the dosage of COC, when
RSO and SO were mixed (1:2 proportion) for spraying against abnormal leaf fall disease,
was investigated in field trials in two endemic locations over six years. Results
indicated that the use of RSO for partial substitution of SO was promising and resulted
in similar disease control as provided by the use of SO. Lower dosage (6 kg/ha)
of COC was found to be comparable to the recommended dosage of COC (8 kg/ha) when
RSO + SO was used as carrier. RSO had no phytotoxic effect on the rubber leaves
either alone or in combination with spray oil. Reduction in cost was evident when
a combination of partial complementation with RSO and a reduced dosage of COC was
D Derouet, S Mulder-Houdayer and J-C Brosse
Epoxidation performed with performic acid generated in situ from the couple hydrogen
peroxide/ formic acid was studied for synthetic polyisoprene latex (LIR-700) and
natural rubber (NR) latex. Various parameters of the reaction (nature and concentration
of surfactant used, reaction temperature, and quantities of formic acid and hydrogen
peroxide used to form performic acid) were studied and the results obtained for
the respective latices were compared. At similar epoxidation conditions, the results
obtained with LIR-700 and NR latices were shown to be very close. NR and LIR-700
latices showed the same behaviour during the epoxidation performed with performic
acid. Optimal conditions to carry out epoxidation for the preparation of stable
latices were also established. This was achieved when the epoxidation was carried
out on latices previously stabilised with 3 p.h.r. of a non-ionic surfactant (Sinnopal
NP 307®for example) at a temperature of 60ºC, with equimolar quantities
of formic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
Lovely Mathew, Shiny Palatty and Rani Joseph
‘Isora’ a natural fibre obtained from Helicteres isora plant is used for reinforcement
of rubber composites. The fibre is separated from the bark of the plant by a retting
process. Composites were prepared using chopped untreated and alkali treated isora
fibre of lengths 10 mm at different fibre loadings in natural rubber (NR) using
both low temperature curing accelerators (ZDC/ xanthates) and conventional accelerators
(CBS/TMTD). The bonding between the fibre and rubber was improved by the use of
RF resin. Cure characteristics of the composites heated to various temperatures
were studied. The mechanical properties of the composites prepared using a conventional
system were compared with those of the composite prepared using xanthates, at different
temperatures from 80ºC–140ºC. Composites with the conventional accelerator system
were vulcanised at 150ºC. The results showed that the xanthates were effective in
low temperature curing of NR and the composite vulcanised at 100ºC showed optimum
properties. At high temperature, fibre and rubber showed a tendency to degrade and
hence a decrease in properties. Alkali treated fibre composites showed enhancement
of mechanical properties in both systems. Properties are improved by the use of
bonding agent. The tensile fractured surface has been investigated by SEM studies
and the failure mechanism has been explained. The swelling behaviour of these composites
were also studied in toluene and it was found that low temperature cured composites
restrict swelling considerably.
S.A.M Arif, RG Hamilton and HY Yeang
Previous work has indicated the involvement of Hev b 13 glycan in the binding of
specific human IgE antibodies. Further evidence is presented here to show that IgE
binding to Hev b 13 is due to its epitope(s) that reside(s) on the glycans covalently
bound to the amino acid structure of the glycoprotein. Oxidative degradation of
native Hev b 13 carbohydrate structures by periodate disabled most of the IgE antibody
reactivity. To further study the role of the Hev b 13 glycan in IgE antibody-recognition,
an unglycosylated recombinant version of the protein was synthesised in Escherichia
coli, using the pMal-c2 vector. An 88 kDa protein was obtained which corresponded
to the expected size of the MBP-Hev b 13 fusion protein. The recombinant protein
was recognised by the monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies specific for Hev b 13,
thus confirming its identity. However, human IgE antibody failed to react with the
unglycosylated recombinant Hev b 13 protein. Competitive inhibition of IgE binding
to Hev b 13 by patatin was shown to result from cross-reacting carbohydrate determinants.
These results indicated that the carbohydrate moiety of the glycoprotein played
a principal role in human IgE antibody reactivity and allergenicity to Hev b 13.
M A Ahmad Faiz
Weed infestation is a major problem during the early stages of establishment of
rubber forest plantation. Currently, information on effective weed control system
in young rubber forest plantation is limited. As the rubber forest plantation is
often located in remote areas, a weed control system which provides longer duration
of weed control is preferred. Trials were conducted to determine effective rates
of glyphosate isopropylamine and its mixtures against mixed weeds. Glyphosate isopropylamine
at 1.08 kg ae/ha mixed with metsulfuron methyl at 0.03 kg ai/ha, was safe and effective
against weeds in rubber less than a year old. In rubber above two years old, glyphosate
isopropylamine at 1.08 kg ae/ha mixed with metsulfuron methyl (0.03 kg ai/ha), fluroxypyr
(0.3 kg ae/ha), dicamba (0.6 kg ae/ha) or premixed picloram + 2,4-D (0.097 kg ae/ha
+ 0.36 kg ae/ha) were effective. Glufosinate ammonium at 0.9 kg ai/ha gave shorter
duration of control against mixed weeds compared to glyphosate (1.08 kg ae/ha) +
metsulfuron methyl (0.03 kg ai/ha). Glyphosate isopropylamine (1.08 kg ae/ha) +
metsulfuron methyl (0.03 kg ai/ha) at two or four rounds per year provided more
effective weed control than slashing. Slashing at two or four rounds was ineffective
and at two rounds per year gave rise to serious weed regeneration.
P Arokiaraj and H Y Yeang
Hevea brasiliensis latex hevein is an allergenic protein designated the
allergen name Hev b 6 by the International Union of Immunological Societies. A study
was undertaken to determine if latex flow stimulation by ethephon increased Hev
b 6 concentration in the latex from mature rubber trees. A two-site immunoenzymatic
assay with antibodies specific for hevein revealed no significant differences in
Hev b 6 content in control trees and Hevea trees stimulated with ethephon.
The mRNA transcript levels of hevein determined by northern analysis appeared similar
for control and stimulated trees. Using the relative ratio method for Real Time
PCR assessment, the steady-state transcript levels of hevein were also similar for
control and stimulated trees. It was concluded that latex from mature Hevea
trees stimulated with ethephon did not result in an increase in hevein mRNA transcripts
or in the translated protein. There was therefore no evidence from this study that
ethephon stimulation increased allergenicity of latex by increasing Hev b 6 content.
H Hasma, D Dazylah and M Nor Qamarina
Values for glove extractable protein content determined by ASTM D5712-99 were generally
higher than corresponding values obtained by ASTM D5712-95. This resulted from the
different procedures used in the two assays. Among all the variables investigated,
it was ascertained that differences in extraction medium were the main contributing
factor. Extraction with 25 mM phosphate-buffered saline, as in ASTM D5712-99, gave
higher protein content than extraction with water, as in ASTM D5712-95. The same
was true of the allergen values of the extracts.
Ranimol Stephen, Kuruvilla Joseph and Sabu Thomas
Blends of natural rubber and carboxylated styrene butadiene rubber latex with varying
blend ratio were prepared. The blends were vulcanised by different techniques which
include sulphur prevulcanisation, and gamma radiation vulcanisation. Morphology
of the blends was investigated from scanning electron micrographs. Mechanical properties
such as tensile strength, tear strength, elongation at break and modulus were studied
with reference to blend ratio and vulcanisation techniques. The crosslink density
of the blends and individual components were determined from the swelling and stress-strain
measurements. The sulphur prevulcanisation of latices was carried out at 70ºC for
2 h.The radiation vulcanisation of various systems was carried out using n-butyl
acrylate as sensitiser at a dose of 15 kGy/h. The swell ratio of the samples was
calculated. The radiation vulcanised systems showed comparable properties as that
of sulphur prevulcanised systems. However, the modulus of radiation vulcanised latex
films was lower than prevulcanised samples. The gamma radiation vulcanised latices
are eco-friendly due to the absence of curing agents. Applicability of various theoretical
models were investigated to predict the modulus of the blends.
Nabil A N Alkadasi
This paper describes the utilisation of flyash as a filler after being treated with
silane coupling agent and used as fillers in NR. The properties considered were
tensile strength, modulus at 100% and 400%, Young's modulus and hardness. Composites
were made with varying proportion of untreated and treated flyash. A two-roll mill
was used for dispersing the filler in the rubber and compression moulding technique
was used to cure the compounds in sheet forms. Tensile properties were measured
on a computerised UTM using ASTM procedure. Comparison of properties of composites
filled with treated and untreated flyash established that treatment of flyash imparted
better reinforcing properties. Tensile strength improved by 83% while modulus at
400% improved by 100% and Young's modulus improved by 29%. Similarly elongation
at break also improved by 50%. The silane coupling agent used here promoted adhesion
between flyash and NR.
Some NR latex gloves have been reported to transfer proteins to certain food on
contact with gloves. The situation, however, could not be applied to all types of
food and NR latex gloves. This study showed that no glove proteins were transferred
to dry non-sticky food whereas the amount of proteins transferred to moist food
is dependant on the extractable protein (EP) or antigenic protein (AP) content of
the glove surface in contact with food.
Glove contact surface of EP content < 60 µg/dm2
or AP content of < 1.5 µg/dm2 could not transmit a measurable amount
of proteins to nitrocellulose membrane which was used to simulate food with high
binding affinity for proteins. On the other hand, only gloves with a higher AP level
of >10 µg/dm2 was found to transfer detectable amount of proteins
to tomato and cheese. This inferred that NR gloves, especially powder-free gloves,
with EP of < 60 µg/dm2 and/or AP < 10 µg/dm2 could
be used in food handling.
U Silpi, P ChantUma, P Kasemsap, P Thaler, S ThaniSawanyangKUra, A Lacointe, T Améglio
and E Gohet
This study describes the sucrose balance between supply and demand in the bark of
the rubber tree, along with concurrent latex metabolic activity. Experiments were
designed using three hevea brasiliensis clones (PB 235, RRIM 600 and GT
1) in the same polyclonal plot at the Chachoengsao Rubber Research Centre (CRRC-DOA)
in Thailand. Treatments were carried out on previously untapped trees (growth potential
control), trees tapped without stimulation (½S d/3 6d/7 9m/12, physiological control),
and trees tapped with ethephon stimulation (½S d/3 6d/7 9m/12 ET 2.5% 5/y and 12/y).
Tapping had a marked effect on latex physiology in the whole trunk. Sucrose concentration
was significantly reduced. The Latex Diagnosis Mapping (LDM) method was used to
describe the shape and size of the latex regeneration area and of the metabolically
active bark area. For the three clones, rubber production correlated with the estimated
latex regeneration area. It took around 100 cm2of latex regeneration
area to regenerate 1 g of rubber. As it assesses the impact of any tapping system
on whole trunk latex physiology, the LDM method was used to develop new tapping
systems, such as systems involving ethylene gas stimulation, micro-tapping cut systems,
and multi-tapping cut systems.
H. Hasma, Alias Othman and Mohd Noor Shafie
The higher percentage of failure in the palm region of commercial gloves than in
the fingers was partly attributed to the sensitivity of the 1 litre water leak test
rather than merely to the higher number of defects in the palm. Incorporating 0.1%
sodium dodecyl sulphate, Teepol®, Triton X-100® or Tween-80® in water increased
the sensitivity of detecting finger defects. The smallest leak detectable by the
1 litre soap leak test was equivalent to 2 µL virus FX174
penetration. Needle punctured NR gloves exposed to cyclic stress offered a better
protection than vinyl and nitrile gloves under similar conditions. The non-rubber
constituents present in NR gloves were shown to have some effect on the amount of
virus penetrating through the punctured tear.
A. Ansarifar and B.Y. Lim
Silicone rubbers often possess poor mechanical properties and must be reinforced
with fillers such as synthetic silicas for industrial applications. The effect of
up to 60 parts per hundred rubber by weight precipitated amorphous white silica
nanofiller on the properties of a peroxidecured polydimethyl siloxane rubber was
studied. The rubber also contained a small amount of vinyl groups. The mechanical
properties of the rubber vulcanisate were enhanced noticeably when the filler was
added. This was mainly due to a strong filler-filler interaction which produced
large silica aggregates in the rubber. The addition of the filler was also beneficial
to the crosslink density of the rubber.
V. Luksameevanish, M. Seadan and S. Kopoonpat
Four natural rubber compounds varying in carbon black content from 10 p.h.r. to
70 p.h.r. were characterised and moulded for bearings, having four different values
of shape factors ranging from approximately 0.33 to 1.73, according to the number
of reinforcing plates used. The approximate area of the bearing and thickness were
50 mm 3 106 mm and 50 mm, respectively. Three deformation modes were predicted,
namely compression, shear and compression-shear. Good agreement was found between
the 12 compression model predictions and the corresponding experimental values for
bearings containing 10 p.h.r., 20 p.h.r. and 40 p.h.r. of carbon black for each
of the four different arrangements of reinforcing metal plates (0, 1, 2 and 3 layers).
However, for bearings containing 70 p.h.r. carbon black, differences between experimental
and predicted results could clearly be visible. The percentage difference increased
with the number of reinforcing plates included with the increase of the shape factor.
Therefore, an improved FEA model which included an imaginary elastic-glue layer
between the rubber block and metal plate as a compensation for glue failure was
examined. The optimum elastic layer value of Young’s modulus was 8 MPa while the
thickness of the layer depended on the total thickness or total volume of the rubber
block. This model was able to predict the behaviour of bearings containing 70 p.h.r.
carbon black with shape factors ranging from 0.5 to 2.35 for 11 cases. The FEA prediction
of shear behaviour showed good agreement with the experimental data for all four
bearing compounds and no effect of shape factor on shear stress was observed. Moreover,
shear stress did not depend on the compressive force to which the bearing was subjected
before shear, and the FEA results agreed with the corresponding experimental results.
Bastiah Ahmad, Naimah Ibrahim and Ramli Othman
The growth of three types of planting materials, namely buddings and seedlings with
different number of whorls and ‘core’ stumps, in a rubber forest plantation system
was studied in three trials. In the first trial, two- and four-whorled buddings
of three clones (RRIM 2020, RRIM 2025 and RRIM 2027) were compared. The second trial
compared growth of seedlings (PBIG GG 4, 5 and 6) and three- and six-whorled buddings
of RRIM 2001 and RRIM 2026. In another trial, the growth of three types of planting
materials namely two- and six-whorled buddings and ‘core’ stumps were also compared.
Generally, buddings planted as advanced planting materials (with four or six whorls)
had better girth than two- or three-whorled buddings or seedlings. However, advanced
seedlings did not indicate the same trend. Clone RRIM 2020 had significantly better
girth than RRIM 2027 in the first trial. The girth superiority of ‘core’ stumps
over those of twowhorled buddings was maintained for 2.5 years after planting whilst
the six-whorled buddings caught up with the ‘core’ stumps in girth size as early
as two years after planting. The significance of these findings in relation to the
use of advanced planting materials to reduce the period of immaturity of rubber
and for rubber forest plantation is discussed.
M. Abu Bakar*#, W.L. Tan*, N.J. Azizi* and N.H.H. Abu Bakar*
A simple one- and two-step phase transfer technique in synthesizing silver nanoparticles
is described. The silver ions are reduced using sodium borohydride either before
(one-step method) or after (two-step method) adding the organic phase. 2-propanol
was employed as a transferring agent whereas tetraoctylammonium-bromide and 50%
epoxidised natural rubber (ENR-50) was used as the stabiliser in aqueous and organic
layer, respectively. Both of the methods described are of comparable efficiency
in transferring ions/particles whereby based on the atomic absorption spectroscopy
determination, more than 93% of the silver ions/particles were transported into
the toluene layer. The samples were characterised by UV-vis, FTIR, TEM and XRD.
The UV-vis spectra and XRD pattern indicated the formation of silver nanoparticles.
Size and size distribution analysis of the as-formed silver nanoparticles showed
that two-step phase transfer method gave smaller particle size as well as narrower
size distribution. The average size and standard deviation of silver nanoparticles
for the one-step and two-step method in the organic layer was 18.4 nm ± 9.5 nm and
15 nm ± 5.8 nm, respectively.
Maya, K.S.*,**, Rani Joseph*#, Jacob K. Varkey*** and Benny George***
Natural rubber (NR) compounds were prepared with in situ precipitated silica in
the presence of epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) as a coupling agent. In situ silica
masterbatches were prepared from NR latex along with ENR. For this, NR latex was
mixed with a suitable amount of ENR latex and precipitation of silica was carried
out using sodium silicate and ammonium chloride. Compounds were prepared with these
masterbatches. The mechanical properties of the vulcanisates were compared with
two reference compounds prepared from NR and commercially available silica with
and without a silane-coupling agent Si-69®. The NR-silica composites
prepared with ENR as the coupling agent showed better mechanical properties and
improved rubber-filler interaction.
Mohd. Zin Abdul Karim*
The high concentration of nitrogen and potassium in effluent of rubber processing
can be utilised as fertiliser for crops such as oil palm. A study was carried out
to monitor the effects of effluent on the chemical, physical and microbiological
properties of the soil during the initial two years of application in areas planted
with oil palm. Effluent application revealed higher content of potassium in the
soil compared to the fertiliser-applied soil. The effluent also enriched the soil
to a depth of 20 cm with organic carbon and total nitrogen as compared to the fertilised
soil. Concentrations of total phosphorus, total magnesium and total calcium of the
effluent-applied soil were comparable to the fertiliser-applied soil. Cation exchange
capacity of the soil applied with effluent was higher than the fertiliser-applied
soil but the difference was not significant. Total bacteria and fungi population
of the effluent-applied soil were comparable to the fertiliser-applied soil. The
fertiliser-applied soil had a significantly higher population of ammonium oxidiser
than the effluent-applied soil.
Mohd Akbar Md Said*# and Mohd Fauzi Ramlan**
Five-year-old trees of clone RRIM 901, Panel BO-1 were used to study the relationship
between methods of latex extraction and stimulation on tree and land productivity
with emphasis on gaseous stimulation. The study compared three different extraction
methods viz. 1/2S, 1/6S and 3PI with two stimulation methods namely 2.5% ethephon
and REACTORRIM technique while nil stimulation was the control. All the treatments
were tapped with d/3 tapping frequency. There was a strong relationship between
the surface area severed and the method of stimulation employed. No significant
advantage of stimulation was observed since the young Hevea trees used in the study
did not response positively to the gaseous methods of stimulation used in the study
specifically when the trees were tapped with the 1/2S d/3 system. The two-year study
signified that the most practical method of extracting latex from young Hevea trees
was the conventional 1/2S d/3 system without or with mild ethephon stimulation.
K.S. Chow*#, Faridah Yusof**, Salimah Mohd. Lim* and Latifah Abdullah*
The effect of six unique isoforms of Hevea brasiliensis eukaryotic translation
initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A), previously reported as a rubber biosynthesis stimulator
protein (RBSP) was evaluated using biosynthesis assays containing zone 2 rubber
particles and radiolabelled isopentenyl diphosphate ([14C]-IPP). Recombinant
RBSP proteins were over-expressed as N-terminal glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-tagged
proteins in a bacterial system. Crude extracts of six RBSP-GST isoforms were added
to rubber biosynthesis assays in increasing volumes. Results showed that increases
in the amount of each RBSP-GST isoform corresponded with increases in the level
of [14C]-IPP incorporation above that of the control which contained
no recombinant protein. Statistical data analysis revealed that three RBSP isoforms
increased [14C]-IPP incorporation significantly compared to the GST control
where the RBSP isoform with the highest stimulatory effect produced a 45% increase
in IPP incorporation compared to GST.