Comparison of Parthenium argentatum and Hevea brasiliensis rubber: Effect of non-rubber constituents on rubber intrinsic properties
Creators:Mohammad Ali Monadjemi, Shirin
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Series/Report no.:Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering. Graduate student poster competition, 2014
Natural rubber (NR) is an indispensable polymer used to manufacture industrial products and has many exceptional features that makes it as yet irreplaceable by synthetic rubber. Currently, almost all NR used in commerce comes from the hevea tree (Hevea brasiliensis). However, to meet the increasing demand for NR, guayule (Parthenium argentatum) has emerged on the market as a sustainable commercial source of high quality rubber. Guayule rubber (GR) has similarities to hevea rubber but also has unique properties. For example, it was found to be malleable at extremely cold temperatures. We aim to understand causes of this malleability to tap this potential for aerospace, cryogenic sealing, and other low temperature applications. Non-rubber constituents play an important role in NR intrinsic properties. We conducted research on GR malleability by comparing the effect of non rubber constituents, such as protein, lipid and resin. Firstly, a film casting method was developed to obtain rubber films with a uniform thickness. Secondly, the physical properties were tested by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Acetone solubles (lipids and resin) were found to soften the rubber and behave as plasticizers. Furthermore, removal of the rubber particle membrane (proteins and lipids) was found to affect the tensile properties of the films.
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