Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka

Ministry of Plantation Industries



Rubber Technology & Development Department

Current Research

Development of environmental friendly, cost effective modification processes for latex and dry rubber based compound / product waste

Blending of virgin and reclaimed rubbers to manufacture rubber products has increased over the past years due to the growing concern about the effect of rubber waste on the environment and the rise in the costs of synthetic rubbers. Compounded acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber or nitrile rubber (NBR) latex waste was modified using a readily available, environmental friendly, low cost amino compound and virgin NBR / modified NBR latex waste composites suitable for oil resistant applications were developed. Work is in progress to modify NBR glove waste and produce cost effective virgin rubber / modified glove waste composites suitable for various applications.

The mandate of the department is to carry out Research and Development work on overall aspects of Rubber Technology to upgrade the rubber based product industries in Sri Lanka in order to acquire the global standards, thereby making Sri Lankan rubber products competitive in the international markets. Additionally, the department undertakes testing of mainly rubber compounds and products according to international standards on request from the industry. Apart from the above, training programs on rubber based products manufacture are conducted, especially for SME’s to expand the rubber products manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka.

Head of the Department

Dr. (Mrs.) D. G. Edirisinghe

Dr.(Mrs.) D.G. Edirisinghe, B.Sc. (Colombo, SL), M.Sc. (Sri Jayewardenepura, SL), M.Phil. (Loughborough, UK) and Ph.D. (Moratuwa, SL) is the Head of the Rubber Technology & Development Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka. She has twenty six years of research experience in the field of “Rubber Technology”. Her current research areas include development of environmental friendly, cost effective modification processes for latex and dry rubber based compound / product waste, natural rubber latex foam for specialized applications, latex / dry rubber based composites of natural and synthetic rubbers for specialized applications, modified natural fibre filled green rubber composites and rubber composites with nano materials. She has 62 international and local publications, 4 patents and an industrial design to her credit. She won the National Science & Technology Award in 2010 in the category “Development of eco material / eco-friendly processes for the industry”, Presidential Award in 2012 for the best invention in the “Environment” category, PRISL Merit Award in 2015 and Technology Award of Excellence from the National Science Foundation in 2016.

 

Research Officer

Mr. W. D. M. Sampath
wikcramage[at]yahoo.com

Mr. W.D.M. Sampath, B.Sc. (Sp.) (Sabaragamuwa, SL) and reading for M.Phil. (Moratuwa, SL) is a Research Officer at the Rubber Technology & Development Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka. Mr. W.D.M. Sampath has six years of research experience in the field of “Rubber Technology”. His current research areas include development of dry rubber based blends of natural and synthetic rubbers for various applications, thermoplastic elastomers, modified natural fibre filled green rubber composites and rubber composites with nano materials. He has 24 publications to his credit. He won the Technology Award of Excellence from the National Science Foundation in 2016.

 
  • Development of natural rubber (NR) / polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) latex blends with excellent strength properties.
  • Manufacture of a novel creature (one of the characters required for production of a space movie) out of NR latex foam.
  • Development of natural rubber latex based flowers and leaves for floral décor.
  • Development of multi-coloured shoe-soles with different surface designs out of dipped products waste / rejects.
  • Development of the cost effective, environmental friendly weed control mat, “Power Mat” out of dipped product waste.
  • Development of rubber composites with plant based natural oils as an alternative for rubber composites with petroleum based aromatic oils.
  • Development of locally available dolomite containing rubber composites for different applications,
  • e.g. middle layer of solid tyres, floor mats.
  • Improvement of surface properties of natural rubber latex films with linseed oil.
  • Development of dry rubber based composites with modified natural oil as a replacement for aromatic oil.
  • Development of environmental friendly, mechano-chemical modification techniques for rubber waste using readily available, low cost chemicals as well as natural products.
  • Development of surface treated coconut fibre filled rubber composites.
  • Development of palmyrah fibre filled rubber composites for solid tyres.
  • Development of a light weight rubber stump for cricket practicing purpose.
  • Development of a stopper band compound using a NR/EPDM composite.
  • Development of NR / LDPE composites with improved properties using coupling agents.
  • Development of a styrene-butadiene rubber based light weight rubber ball with low resilience, high abrasion resistance and high hardness for cricket practicing purpose.
  • Development of a high performance lighter weight prosthetic foot based on hybrid nano-material filled natural rubber nano-composite
  • Development of NR latex based adhesives for paper and shoes.
  • M.K. Mahanama – Presidential Merit Award in 2003 for the invention titled “Natural Rubber Latex based Flowers for Floral Décor”.
  • M.K. Mahanama – Bronze Medal in the “Industrial Category” at the “International Inventors Exhibition” held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2006 for the invention titled “Natural Rubber Latex based Flowers for Floral Décor”.
  • The staff of the department was actively involved in organizing the RRISL stall, which won first place at the “Viskam Dakma” exhibition and trade fair held in 2006.
  • The staff of the department was actively involved in organizing the Ministry of Plantation Industries stall
  • under Agricultural Cluster, which won first place at the “Deyata Kirula” national development exhibition 2007.  
  • A. Nugawela, D.G. Edirisinghe and  M.K. Mahanama - National Science and Technology Award 2010 in the category, “Development of Eco Material / Eco-friendly Processes for the Industry” was received for the “Power Mat” developed out of dipped products waste.
  • A. Nugawela, D.G. Edirisinghe and M.K. Mahanama - Presidential award 2010 for the best invention in the “Environment” category was received for the “Power Mat” developed out of dipped products waste.
  • M.G.S.M. Wijeratne, L.M.K. Tillekeratne, W.M.G. Seneviratne, D.G. Edirisinghe, W.D.M. Sampath and S.L.G. Ranjith -  Best paper award under the theme “Rubbers, Rubber Blends and Applications”- Evaluation of the Suitability of Local Dolomite as a Replacement for Calcite in Solid Tyre Manufacture”, IIUPST 2012.
  • B.H.K.M. Silva, D.G. Edirisinghe and M.K. Mahanama – Best poster award - “Improvement of Surface Properties of Natural Rubber Latex Films with a Novel Plasticiser”, IIUPST 2012.
  • W.D.M. Sampath, S.M. Egodage and D.G. Edirisinghe - Best abstract under the theme “Polymer Science” – “Effect of a Titanate Coupling Agent on Chemical and Ageing Properties of Calcium Carbonate Filled
  • Natural Rubber and Low Density Polyethylene Composites”, IIUPST 2015.
  • D.G. Edirisinghe - Merit Award from the Plastics & Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka in 2015 for the significant contribution to the development and growth of the polymer industry in Sri Lanka.
  • U.N. Ratnayake, D.G. Edirisinghe, W.D.M. Sampath and D.G.M.J. Abeywardena - Technology Award from the National Science Foundation in 2016 for the project titled   “High Performance Lighter Weight Prosthetic Foot based on Hybrid Nano-material Filled Natural Rubber Nano-composite”.
  • M.K. Mahanama - Development of NR latex based flowers for floral décor (Patent No. 12696 - 2001).
  • M.K. Mahanama and D.G. Edirisinghe - Development of shoe soles out of dipped products waste/ rejects (Industrial Design No. 7487 - 2005 ).
  • M.K. Mahanama and D.G. Edirisinghe - Multi-coloured shoe soles with different surface designs, produced solely out of dipped products waste / rejects (Patent No. 13604 - 2009).
  • A. Nugawela, M.K. Mahanama and D.G. Edirisinghe - Weed control power mats based on natural rubber dipped products waste (Patent No. 14908-2010).
  • Mahanama, M.K., Seneviratne, P. and Edirisinghe, D.G. - “Cost Effective Environmental Friendly Nursery Bag Produced out of Waste” (2010).
  • D.G. Edirisinghe, M.K. Mahanama, M.K.N.N. Rathnawardhana and R.P.D. Gunathilaka - “A Mechano-chemical  Reclaiming Process (Oreclaim) for Ground Rubber Tyre” (Patent No. 17588 - 2016).
  • Development of environmental friendly, cost effective modification processes for latex  and dry rubber based compound / product waste.
  • Development of environmental friendly, biodegradable, natural fibre filled rubber composites.
  • Development of NR latex foam for specialized applications
  • Development of dry rubber blends / composites of natural and synthetic rubbers for different applications
  • Development of dry rubber composites based on waste materials.
  • Property improvement of NR / LDPE composites using coupling agents

The department provides testing and trouble-shooting services to rubber based product manufacturing industries and also provides research facilities.

  • J.K. Premachandra, D.G. Edirisinghe and M.I.A. De Silva,  “A Novel Reclaiming Agent for Ground Rubber Tyre (GRT) Part 1: Property Evaluation of Virgin Natural Rubber (NR) / Novel Reclaimed GRT Blend Compounds” – Progress in Rubber, Plastics & Recycling Technology, 2011,Vol.27, No.1.
  • D.G. Edirisinghe, M.I.A. De Silva and J.K. Premachandra,  “A Novel Reclaiming Agent for Ground Rubber Tyre (GRT) Part II: Property Evaluation of Virgin Natural Rubber (NR) / Novel Reclaimed GRT Revulcanisates” – Progress in Rubber, Plastics & Recycling Technology, 2011, Vol.27, No.3.
  • Chandrasekera, Ganga, Mahanama, M.K., Edirisinghe, D.G. and  Karunanayake, L., “Epoxidized Vegetable Oils as Processing Aids and Activators in Carbon Black Filled Natural Rubber Compounds” – Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 2011, Vol. 39, pp.243-250.
  • T.A.A.I Siriwardena, S.M.Egodage and D.G. Edirisinghe (2012) “The Effect of Silica to Carbon Black Ratio on Properties of a Tubeless Tyre Inner Liner Compound Prepared with a Blend of Chlorobutyl Rubber and Natural Rubber”. The Institution of Engineers (IESL), Sri Lanka, Transactions 2012, Vol. 1, Part B, p.290-296.
  • Sampath W.D.M, Edirisinghe D.G and Wettasingha P.C., “Property improvement of natural rubber and low density polyethylene blends by compatibilizing with silane coupling agent”. Journal of Applied Science and Agriculture (JASA) (Special issue ICPRC 2014 International Conference on Plastics, Rubber and Composites), 2014.
  • D. Galpaya, M. Wang, G. George, N. Motta, E. Waclawik, C. Yan, Preparation of graphene oxide/epoxy nanocomposites with significantly improved mechanical properties,  Journal of Applied Physics, 2014,116.
  • Mingchao Wang, Zheng Bo Lai, Dilini Galpaya, Cheng Yan, Ning Hu and Limin Zhou (2014). Atomistic simulation of surface functionalization on the interfacial properties of graphene-polymer nanocomposites, Journal of Applied Physics, 2014, 115.
  • Mingchao Wang, Dilini Galpaya, Zheng Bo Lai, Yanan Xu and Cheng Yan (2014). Surface functionalization on the thermal conductivity of graphene-polymer nanocomposites, International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials, 2014, 5(2), 123-132.
  • Carlo Piloto, Marco Notarianni, Mahnaz Shafiei, Elena Taran, Dilini Galpaya, Cheng Yan and Nunzio Motta, Highly NO2 sensitive caesium doped graphene oxide conductometric sensors, Beilstine journal of nanotechnology, 2014, 5,1073-1081.
  • Michael K. Njuguna, Dilini Galpaya, Cheng Yan, John M. Colwell, Geoffrey Will, Ning Hu, Prasad Yarlagadda and John M. Bell, Investigation on temperature-dependent electrical conductivity of carbon nanotube/epoxy composites for sustainable energy applications, Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology, 2014.
  • W.D.M Sampath, S. M. Egodage and D.G. Edirisinghe, “Effect of blend ratio on properties of natural rubber / low density polyethylene blends”. The Institution of Engineers (IESL), Sri Lanka, Transactions 2014, Vol. 1, Part B, p.247-253.
  • G.M.P. Perera and D.G. Edirisinghe, “Development of a Highly Effective Room Temperature Vulcanizing System for Natural Rubber Latex based Compounds”. The Journal of the Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka, 2014, Vol.14.
  • D.G. Edirisinghe, W.D.M. Sampath and P.C. Wettasinghe, “Effect of Latex Coated Coconut Fibre on Cure Characteristics and Physico-mechanical Properties of Natural Rubber-Coir Composites”, Journal of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, 2015, Vol. 95, p.1-13.
  • W.D.M. Sampath, D.G. Edirisinghe and S.M. Egodage, “Improvement of physico-mechanical properties of calcium carbonate filled natural rubber and low density polyethylene blends with titanate coupling agent” – IEEE Xplore, DOI:10.1109 / MERCon. 2015, 7112350, pp-228-233.
  • W.D.M. Sampath and D.G. Edirisinghe, “Effect of waste LDPE on properties of  maleic anhydride treated NR/LDPE/waste LDPE composites” – The Journal of the Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka, 2016, Vol.15, p. 31-41
  • J.C. Jayawarna and D.G. Edirisinghe, “Use of Modified Solid Rubber Waste in Dry Rubber based Products as a Step towards Sustainability”– The Journal of the Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka, 2017, Vol.16.
Laboratory Test Sample fee (Rs.)
  Without preparation of test pieces  
1. Tensile properties (without ageing) 625
  Tensile properties (with ageing)     1900
  With preparation of test pieces  
2. Tensile properties (without ageing) 780
  Tensile properties (with ageing)     2170

 

Laboratory Test     Sample fee (Rs.)
1. Tensile properties (without ageing) 625
  Tear strength (with preparation of test pieces)      780
2. Hardness (without preparation of test pieces)     375
  Hardness (with preparation of test pieces)     560
3. Abrasion volume loss (without preparation of test pieces)     500
  Abrasion volume loss (with preparation of test pieces)     570
4. Compression set (without ageing)     500
  Compression set (with ageing)     875
5. Specific gravity     500
6. Resilience 375
7. Rheograph     775
8. Flex – cracking resistance     900
9. Peel strength     375
10. Swelling test   550
11. Compounding (Two-roll mill – without material charges), per 1Kg     225
  Compounding (Two-roll mill – with material charges) , per 1Kg     600
12. Compounding (Internal mixer – without material charges) , per 1Kg     450
  Compounding (Internal mixer – with material charges) , per 1Kg     825

For Information

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Contact Info

  • Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
  • Dartonfield, Agalawatta. 12200
  • 034 - 2247426, 034 - 2247383
  • 034 - 2248459, 034 - 3439999
  • 034 - 2247427
  • dirrri@sltnet.lk