Innovative Bioelastoplastic Engineered Natural Rubber Grade Materials for A Decarbonised Sustainable Circular Rubber Economy

Dr R K Matthan PhD, FIMMM | Mr. John Heath MA (Oxon)


Natural Rubber, through a spectrum of incremental innovations, is positioned, and repeating history, as an avialable alternative for some fossil fuel based synthetic elastomers. Natural Rubber is already the principal elastomer and now offer green viscosity stable low gel, deproteinised (hypoallergenic), epoxidised (polar, oil resistant and impermeable), block grafted (injection mouldable), green hydrogenated (lower unsaturation), and bonded composites (seismic bearings) options. The latex-stage incorporated Silica reinforcing fillers offer improved dispersion with siloxane free rubber-filler interactions, which translates to greater energy efficiencies and environmentally friendly processing technologies. In 2022 NR was 48% global rubber consumption in the composite total 30 million MTA, What is exceptional is that 92% is small farmer production. This small farmers' crop services applications from aerospace to inbody micro-implants. Innovations, in the pipeline, based on bioelastoplastic behaviourial modifications and green chemistry, which broaden and enhance Natural Rubbers' performance are under Beta testing-(UAT). The Natural Rubber viscoelastic spectrum ranges from highly durable and resilient to disposable and recyclable at the other. Forms and grades continue to increase including those under ISO, ASTM,BIS and other National Standards. Radialisation, in the new millennia offered a strong recovery pathway for Technically Specified Natural Rubbers. Environmental and broader sustainability issues are now driving tyre and non tyre elastomeric materials developments in non-IC vehicles, Airless (Tweel) tyres, biodegradable PPE's and medical devices, human contact adhesives, and natural fibre reinforced composites. Using biochemically engineered Natural Rubbers afford new pathways to more rapid and measurable decarbonisation, thus attaining a net neutral carbon footprint and promoting circularity while meeting the sustainability development goals of the industry.