Cariflex breaks ground on world’s largest polyisoprene latex plant in Singapore

Cariflex Pte. Ltd. (Cariflex), broke ground at a 6.1 hectares site in Jurong Island, Singapore. Cariflex will be constructing the world’s largest and Singapore’s first polyisoprene latex plant on this site. Driven by a strong commitment to better serve its global customers in medical and consumer products, this investment represents the largest capacity expansion in Cariflex’s existing accomplishments.

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Nitrile latex for gloves

The federal government, particularly the Defense Logistics Agency, recently indicated that its objective is to support the annual U.S. production of 50 billion nitrile gloves to satisfy the most critical U.S. medical PPE requirement. This quantity, while seemingly significant, represents about 11% of the examination gloves produced globally, and 30% of the gloves used in the U.S.
There are more than a handful of glove companies intending to contribute to the satisfaction of this government objective. The polymer designated for the gloves will be acrylonitrile butadiene latex, or nitrile latex. To produce 50 billion gloves, it will take approximately 1.1 billion pounds of nitrile latex. The U.S. presently has limited capability to manufacture nitrile latex. Most of this latex would be manufactured in Korea, Malaysia, Italy and Brazil

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Mechanism of oxidation in natural rubber compounds at lower (ambient) temperatures

The oxidation mechanism of natural rubber was studied using several techniques. In a prior article, it was found that the crosslink distribution (sulfur types including polysulfidic, disulfidic and monosulfidic) in a belt coat (conventional cured natural rubber compound) had a different crosslink distribution, depending on the aging temperature (ref. 1). The belt coat compound extracted from an oven aged (65°C) tire was compared to the belt coat compound extracted from a normal service tire (23°C, the average annual temperature in Phoenix, AZ)

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Homegrown bioelastomers: A sustainable opportunity

It has been estimated that there are 2,500 plants that can produce a natural latex: a bioelastomer. Of course, not all of them can produce a polymeric latex with a high molecular weight, readily processable and commercially viable. To date, three species account for the majority of interest associated and centered
around the discussion of natural latex: Hevea rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis), guayule (“why-yule-ee,” Parthenium argentatum) and rubber dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz). The rubber tree, typically found in tropical Southeast Asia, produces nearly 90% of the world’s natural latex. Guayule (a desert shrub) and rubber dandelion are plants found in more temperate regions in the U.S., and figure to be potential domestic sources of natural rubber and latex.

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CO2-switchable materials for the rubber industry

Recent developments in stimuli-responsive or “smart” materials offer the opportunity for major advances in material design that could impact markets for latexes. One of the lesser known, but simpler technologies includes polymers and latexes whose properties can be dramatically, and reversibly, switched simply by adding or removing CO2. The processes used offer advantages in sustainability without requiring expensive materials or catalysts, and are based on currently used materials and production methods. This article will give a general overview of three examples relevant to latexes and coatings

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