KOBE, Japan—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. has developed a type of natural rubber that it claims emits significantly less odor than standard unprocessed rubber.
SRI said it achieved this breakthrough through the development of a proprietary raw-materials processing technique at its NR processing operation in Thailand. The process suppresses the breakdown of odor-causing non-rubber components (such as proteins and lipids) that are found in NR.
SRI believes this new technique represents a major step toward solving what it calls "longstanding odor issues" at NR processing plants, tire factories and other sites where natural rubber is handled.
In disclosing its achievement, SRI said it reflects its research and development activities aimed at improving tire performance while also responding to the needs arising out of greater overall environmental awareness worldwide through our efforts to modify the properties of natural rubber, make greater use of biomass materials and so forth.