Ceylon Rubber
 

From the first commercial rubber plantation in Sri Lankan, the nation has had a proud history of manufacturing high quality natural rubber latex. Rubber was first introduced in the late 19th century under the British. Though slow to catch on, the cultivation of rubber accelerated in the early 1900‘s due to a slump in world tea prices. In 1900, the land area of 1750 acres was covered with rubber plantations. This greatly increased in a few short years to 450,000 acres by 1920. Currently about 122,000 hectares or 301,000 acres of rubber is under cultivation in the country with an approximate production of 129 Million Kilograms per year. Rubber continues to be the second most import plantation crop in the nation and contributes nearly US$ 600 million in exports.

 
Sri Lanka Rubber Production Graph
 
 
Sri Lankan rubber plantations produce high quality natural latex processed products, primarily constituting of Sheet Rubber, Crepe Rubber and TSR (Technically Specified Rubber).
 
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Crepe Rubber

Crepe rubber is manufactured using a process of coagulation that creates a crinkled rubber texture. The process involves combing coagulated latex with some natural form of coagulum. The combined material is further processed through large rollers that are known as crepers.. Crepe rubber is most often used for manufacture of shoe soles and rubber boots and gloves.

Depending on the thickness, density, degree of contamination, crepe rubber can be classified in many grades. Some of which are Latex Crepe No.1X, Latex Crepe No.1, Latex Crepe No.2, Latex Crepe No.3, Latex Crepe No.4, Scrap Crepe (Brown) No.1, Scrap Crepe (Brown) No.2, Scrap Crepe (Brown) No.3, Scrap Crepe, (Brown) No.4, Flat Bark and Skim Crepe.

Sheet Rubber

Sheet rubber is one of the oldest and still most popular types processed latex products. The are two board types of sheet rubber are produced and marketed, namely the Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS) and the Air Dried Sheets (ADS). Among these two types, Ribbed smoked sheet is the most popular and is available for volume consumption.

Ribbed Smoked Sheets consists of deliberately coagulated rubber sheets, dried using smoke. RSS sheets are graded different grades according to its colour, consistency and observed impurities. Some of which are RSS1, RSS2, RSS3, RSS4, and RSS5. RSS is mainly used in automobile tyre manufacturing or when extra tough rubber is needed.

Air Dried Sheets look like RSS, but it tends to be more transparent than due to it being processed in smokeless environment. ADS are widely used in Coloured Rubber Products.

 
Rubber Production by Type
 

TSR (Technically Specified Rubber)

TSR is a newer form of grading rubber that has become popular in the past 30 years. This process grades rubber using technical specifications instead of visual identification. The TSR scheme consists of the following grades:

  • TSR CV: Constant viscosity from latex
  • TSR L: Light coloured from latex
  • TSR 5: Equivalent to 1 RSS from sheets
  • TSR 10: Field grade material
  • TSR 20: Base field grade material

 

Source: Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Rubber Development Department, wisegreek.com Please note figures are approximates only.

 
 
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No. 400, Deans Road, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka.
Telephone: +94 11-2627318, +94-11-262-7000 (Hunting) . Facsimile: +94-11-262-7323
E-Mail: horanap@hplnet.com
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