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Natural Rubber-Based Adhesives

Sadhan K. De
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

I. INTRODUCTION Natural rubber adhesives can be classied into two principal types: latex adhesives and solution adhesives. Natural rubber latex is obtained by tapping the tree Havea brasiliensis. The latex consists of about 35% solids. Ammonia is added to the latex immediately after the tapping to prevent bacterial attack and coagulation. Before marketing, the latex is concentrated to a total solids content of about 60 to 70%. Solution adhesive is obtained from solid rubber obtained by coagulation of latex as acquired from the tree. The coagulation is eected by dilute aqueous solution of organic acids. The solid rubber can be graded in terms of dirt content, ash content, nitrogen content, and volatile matter. It can also be categorized by plasticity retention index and Mooney viscosity. To maintain uniformity it is necessary to choose solid natural rubber of known characteristics.



Latex adhesives are made from natural rubber latex by adding stabilizers, wetting agents, and other components. They are applied to the substrate by brush, spray, doctor knife, or reverse roll coater. The adhesive is dried to lm near room temperature. The adhesive strength can be improved by vulcanizing the system. The applications of latex adhesives are to porous substances such as paper, leather, and textiles. Latex adhesives can be handled easily because they are more uid due to lower solid content. They have little incendiary risk because of the absence of solvent. They are cheaper because they do not contain solvent, which is lost on drying. However, natural rubber solution adhesives possess intrinsically greater adhesion to the substrate than do latex adhesives. Following are some examples of nonvulcanizing natural rubber latex. 1. Self-seal envelope adhesive Parts by weight (wet) 60% 10% 50% Natural rubber latex Potassium hydroxide solution Aqueous dispersion of zinc diethyldithiocarbamate (accelerator) 167 2 1

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Leather adhesive Parts by Weight (wet) Natural rubber latex Ethylenediaminetetracetic acid solution Aqueous dispersion of poly(2,2,4-trimethyl-1,2-dihydroquinoline) (antioxidant) 167 2.5 1

60% 20% 59%


General-purpose pure gum adhesive Parts by weight (wet) Natural rubber latex Dispersion of zinc dibutylthiocarbamate Solution of ammonium caseinate 167 2 10

60% 50% 10% 4.

Adhesives for the carpet industry. Formulations for backing carpets of hessian and polypropylene staple construction are given below. Parts by dry weight A:Primary backing B:Secondary backing 100 1.0 1.0

60% Natural rubber latex Stabilizer/wetting agent [sodium lauryl ether sulfate (27%)] 10% Aqueous dispersion of thiourea 50% Aqueous dispersion of N-phenyl, N0 -cyclohexyl p-phenylenediamine (antioxidant) Water Whiting 50% Dispersion of polyacrylate thickener

100 1.5 1.0

1.0 1.0 To give 75% solid 400 250 0.2 0.3

Ingredients are to be mixed in the order given above. The stabilizer, thiourea, water, and antioxidant must be completely dispersed in the mix before adding the whiting. The whiting must be completely dispersed in the mix before adding thickeners. 5. Tire cord adhesive Parts by weight (wet) 60% Natural rubber latex 40% Vinyl pyridine latex Water Resorcinolformaldehyde resin solution Water Sodium hydroxide Resorcinol 40% Formaldehyde solution Mature for 6 h at 25 C 125 62.5 507 266.3 240 0.3 11 15

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Solution adhesives consist of solid rubber dissolved in a solvent such as toluene, naphtha, or trichloroethane. The solvent used will depend on the drying and ammability considerations in the application. Milled raw rubber can be shredded and agitated in the solvent until a clear solution is obtained. Other components are added at this stage and mixed uniformly. Alternatively, the solid rubber can be compounded with other components and the mix dissolved in the solvent. Solution adhesives are applied at 1025% total solids content by spray, doctor knife, reverse roll coater, roller, or by spatula or trowel. The adhesive is dried at room temperature or in air ovens, care being taken to eliminate the re and health hazards associated with some solvents. The toughness and durability of the bond may be improved by using vulcanizable rubber solution adhesives. These are normally supplied as two components which are mixed prior to use. Component A is prepared as follows: Parts by weight Natural rubber Zinc oxide Antioxidant Sulfur Solvent 10 1 0.1 0.1 80

Component B is prepared as follows: To 100 parts of component A, add 4 parts of a 10% solution of a dithiocarbamate accelerator. The mixed adhesive will vulcanize at room temperature or at a higher temperature, if required. Typical vulcanizing time at room temperature is 34 days.

IV. PRESSURE-SENSITIVE ADHESIVE TAPES Solid natural rubber is widely used in adhesive formulations for making electrical insulation tapes, packaging tapes, and surgical tapes and plasters. The backing may be made from paper crepe, cloth, or synthetic materials, depending on the application. The rubber can be applied from solvents or calendered directly onto the backing. The following formulations are for packaging tape and surgical tape adhesives: Parts by weight Packing tape Natural rubber Ester gum (tackier) Lanolin (wool fat) Antioxidant Zinc oxide Solvent (toluene, naphtha, or trichloroethylene)
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Surgical tape 100 100 25 1 100 200

100 175 25 1 50 400

Initial shredding or granulation of the rubber aids dissolving. Alternatively, lightly mill the rubber and zinc oxide, then add solvent. Blend the swollen mixture in a Z-blade mixer until homogeneous, then add ester gum, antioxidant, and nally, lanolin.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The author acknowledges permission of the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, to cite the information on adhesive formulations.

1. NR Technology Rubber Developments Supplement, No. 2, Natural Rubber Producers Research Association, Brickendonbury, UK, 1970. 2. NR Technology Rubber Developments Supplement, No. 4, Natural Rubber Producers Research Association, Brickendonbury, UK, 1972.

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