Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2011
Publication Date: 7/26/2011
Citation: Mcmahan, C.M. 2011. Blends of guayule natural rubber latex with commercial latex polymers. Meeting Proceedings. 199-223.
Technical Abstract: Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) is a woody desert shrub that produces natural rubber, cis-1,4 polyisoprene, by biosynthesis. It is currently cultivated in the southwestern United States as a source of latex and rubber for commercial development. Guayule latex is similar to Hevea latex in polymer molecular weight and microstructure, and in many colloidal properties. Important differences exist, however, in rubber extractable and insoluble components; most notably protein content. Blends of guayule latex were prepared with commercial Hevea, polyisoprene, and styrene-butadiene lattices, to quantify the contributions of the individual polymers to the performance of the blends. Physical and chemical characterization of the blends differentiates those properties which follow linear or nonlinear models with respect to guayule content. Bulk plasticity and dynamic viscoelastic properties, gel content, and green strength of guayule/Hevea blends were among those that could be readily modeled based on composition. The addition of guayule to synthetic latex improved the film surface quality over that of the individual polymers. The use of guayule latex as a component in latex blends provides an opportunity for manufacturers to innovate using guayule rubber with less risk than 100% replacement of existing polymers. Moreover it may provide flexibility in polymer selection during a time of significant supply challenges in the latex industry.