Properties and Cost of Natural Rubber Latex Foam Using Biomass Ash Filler from Agarwood Pellets
Keywords:Filler, Ash, Cost, Agarwood pellets, Natural rubber latex foam
The purpose of this work was to add value to biomass ash, which is a waste product from combustion of agarwood pellets as fuel. Ash was used as filler in accordance with the Bio-Circular-Green economy model to reduce the cost of manufacture of natural rubber latex foam (NRLF) produced with the Dunlop technique. The agarwood pellet biomass fuel was heated in an incinerator at 700 to 750 °C for 6 h to start the process. The mixture was then passed through a 120-mesh sieve after ball milling for 72 h. The next step involved dispersing 10% agarwood pellet biomass ash (APBA) at 0, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, or 4.5 phr loadings in latex. This was followed by other actions such as visual inspection of the foaming and gelling stages. The influence of APBA loading on density, hardness, compression set and morphological properties of NRLF were investigated, and also the cost of production was estimated. The findings revealed that NRLF with 1.5 phr of APBA exhibited good physical properties, having a smooth surface and small foam cells. Moreover, the compression set properties of NRLF with 1.5 phr APBA comply with the Thai Industrial Product Standard (TIS 173-2529) for NRLF (Industrial Product Standard Act, 1986). Regarding the production costs, they were below those of filler- free NRLF by 0.03 USD/kg.