US-based Vystar Corporation and the Indian Rubber Manufacturers Research Association (IRMRA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a wide range of collaborative activities, including but not limited to research, innovation, testing and technology transfer in midstream and downstream sectors of the rubber industry.
“Within the natural rubber latex industry, deproteinised natural rubber (DPNR), both latex and solid, is known for its superior static and dynamic properties that improve end product performance,” stated Dr. K. Rajkumar, Director of IRMRA. “IRMRA’s goal is to team with Vystar to develop viscoelastic DPNR variants having properties for expanding its applications in specific new arenas such as green tyres, biodegradable and other unique bioelastoplast product lines that desire a new approach. We appreciate that Vystar will be collaborating with us for R&D in many different areas that have the potential to benefit consumers as an environmentally sustainable and renewable resource available worldwide.”
The collaboration between IRMRA and Vystar, the creator of Vytex multi-patented, non-enzymatic deproteinised latex and solid natural rubber, could cover, but is not limited to the following areas:
1. Testing and standard development in relation to tyre and non-tyre and latex areas;
2. Collaboration and training to exchange knowledge between Vystar and IRMRA researchers.
3. Product development such as:
a. engineering rubber products –
i. mounting, foams, seismic bearings, specialty rubber (cost reduction),
ii. substitute material (i.e. polychloroprene and nitrile),
b. specialty rubber products;
i. niche applications (i.e. yoga and exercise mats, paints, balloons, adhesive, footwear, wet suits); and
ii. applications in non-allergenic gloves and tires.
4. Sustainability certification (e.g. Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), tyre labelling, REACH (chemicals), etc.
5. Consortium between IRMRA and Vystar to explore potential market in non-traditional rubber markets, such as Africa and potential IRMRA commercial technical support if Vystar and its marketing partners expand into emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America.
In the future, the parties may enter into a legally binding agreement for cooperative implementation of any or all of the above as both parties see fit.
The solid Vytex forms open up the dry rubber industry segment with the tyre industry. Tyres and automotive rubber components account for 65% of the rubber industry, consuming 9 million tonnes/year of natural rubber.
IRMRA is an R&D centre for the non-tyre and tyre sectors, with expertise in nanotech and latex technologies. It is an autonomous institution under the jurisdiction of The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, New Delhi with facilities in three locations: headquarters in Mumbai (Maharashtra), and branches in Kolkata (West Bengal) and Sricity (Andhra Pradesh).
“IRMRA is internationally recognised for its vast breadth of expertise and resources in the tire and non-tire industries, as exemplified by its November 2020 Letter of Cooperation with ASTM International, the global standards organisation. This MOU with Vystar creates the potential to open doors to many new opportunities for the use of sustainably produced Vytex,” noted William Doyle, Vytex R&D Adviser/Former CEO of Vystar. “Vystar is looking forward to collaborating with IRMRA to explore new solutions to improve products and create more environmentally friendly products.”
“Manufacturers across many industries are working continuously to identify eco-friendly sustainable and biodegradable materials to replace non-renewable, non-biodegradable materials, such as synthetic rubber and plastics,” stated Steve Rotman, Vystar CEO. “Many are also looking for low or no nitrosamine and ammonia formulations of latex. This opportunity to collaborate with IRMRA’s vast source of knowledge and experience may lead to the development and/or adaptation of new Vytex formulations, dry rubbers and bioelastoplasts to meet their needs, with the added benefits of healthier manufacturing environments and sustainable end products with enhanced properties.”
Vytex is a rubber hydrocarbon material with the proteins and non-rubber components that cause allergies removed to create an ultra-pure latex and dry rubber with a more compact molecular network of greater durability and flexibility that is virtually odor free with a reduced risk of developing or triggering contact allergies.
An added bonus is that Vytex is completely biodegradable and sustainably sourced. Vytex is ideal for applications such as medical devices, catheters, tubing, condoms and gloves (natural rubber latex glove use has been surging worldwide amid the Covid-19 crisis). Other products include foam mattresses, toppers, pillows, cushions, balloons, adhesives, sports equipment, footwear, apparel and threads. It is compatible with several synthetic rubbers which also enables their synergistic and symbiotic usage.