Bulletin de veille stratégique BlackCycle #5

Ce bulletin de veille stratégique porte notamment sur le caoutchouc naturel (et les élastomères), leur utilisation, leur marché au Vietnam, et les recherches scientifiques autour de leurs caractéristiques physico-chimiques et leurs applications.

Publié le 28/01/2022 à 12:59

Natural rubber is harvested mainly in the form of the latex from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) or others. The latex is a sticky, milky and white colloid drawn off by making incisions in the bark and collecting the fluid in vessels in a process called "tapping". The latex then is refined into rubber that is ready for commercial processing. In major areas, latex is allowed to coagulate in the collection cup. The coagulated lumps are collected and processed into dry forms for sale. Natural rubber production worldwide, led by Thailand and Indonesia, amounted to about 13Mt in 2020, twice the amount produced in 2 000.   

Natural rubber is used in applications requiring a high level of wear and heat resistance. Thanks to its strength and compressibility, natural rubber is used in engineering applications, like anti-vibration mounts, drive couplings, springs, bearings, rubber bands, and adhesives. But the majority (50% of natural rubber) is used in high-performance tyres for race cars, buses, and aircraft thanks to its strength and heat resistance. It’s also used in hoses, automotive parts, foam mattresses, and battery boxes.

However, thanks to its adhesive properties, natural rubber is also found in rubber cement and the soil stabilization materials used around new roads. Even raw rubber is sometimes used for adhesives and as part of shoe soles. Additionally, about 10% of latex harvested from trees is simply reduced to 60% rubber solution to make products like latex gloves or to use as a coating. 

This strategic intelligence bulletin particularly focuses on natural rubber (and elastomers), their use, their market in Vietnam, and the scientific research surrounding their physico-chemical characteristics and applications.