AKRON—Vystar Corp. has made significant headway in the development of a formulation for ultra low protein lattices with reduced or no ammonia and nitrosamines.
Ranjit Matthan, the director of Polymer Consultancy Services who recently was named to Vystar's board of directors, said advances the company has made in aluminum hydroxide-treated ultra low protein latex properties and applications will have a positive impact on the latex industry.
He discussed the company's new offering in his presentation, “Advances in the Technology of the Manufacture of Ultra Low Protein Latex Grades,” at the International Latex Conference in Fairlawn, Ohio, as well as during an interview.
He worked closely on development of the formulation, along with preparation of the paper he presented, with Vystar CEO Bill Doyle and Joseph John, director of the Polymer Consultancy Services Ltd. in Chennai, India.
Most natural rubber is preserved with ammonia, he pointed out in the interview. “And in a factory environment, it comes off the rubber and goes into the air.” That's not good, and it isn't healthy, he said.
Significant advances made in aluminum hyderoxide-treated ultra low protein latex properties and applications made by Vystar researchers could have a dramatic impact on the issues of volatile organic contact and nitrosamines for some critical latex products, Matthan said.
That's especially the case in the production of such rubber latex products as balloons, catheters, condoms and other medical devices, he added.
“In recent years, the latex industry has sought to reduce or eliminate the need for nitrosamines and ammonia in natural rubber latex to remove any potential health hazards for those with long-term exposure in the production of natural rubber latex and in the manufacture of natural rubber latex products in several end use applications,” Matthan said.
New, expanded Vystar product grades make it applicable to a wider range of latex products “with the advantage of improved environmental impact through reduced leachables and extractables,” he said.
“These advances finally deliver a simplified, sustainable, totally safe raw material that Vystar can offer for several applications without reservations about nitrosamines.”
He said the basic developments of the grades have been completed, and two companies are available to handle custom manufacturing. The four grades are available, he added, as are samples from bulk.
Matthan has been working with rubber, rubber products and manufacturers since the 1970s.
In fact, he has been associated with the development and commercial introduction of several eco-friendly natural rubber grades, including Vystar's patented Vytex Natural Rubber Latex, an all-natural raw material whose manufacturing processes remove non-rubber particles and allergen-causing latex proteins to create a unique natural rubber latex.
“We started developing Vytex in 2004 and came out with it in 2008,” he said.
Vystar now licenses the Vytex process to numerous manufacturers of goods.
It also partners with some companies on the production of some products.
For instance, in February the company moved into the mattress, pillow and seating foam market in a partnership with Nature's Home Solutions. NHS has an exclusive agreement with Vystar for the distribution rights to Vytex foam for the furnishings, home goods and other markets and non-exclusive rights to Vytex threads for the U.S. apparel industry.