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bio-degradable rubber molding

aminadav's Avatar

I have a product in mind that must be bio-degradable and soft, so naturally latex comes to mind.

However I don't know what manufacturing method can be used with latex rubber beside dipping (like gloves and balloons)... any way to injection mold latex?

Alternatively, is there another bio-degradable material I should consider? a type of TPR perhaps?

I appreciate any advice you may have!

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countofmontecristo's Avatar

Ami-

You have a materials challenge on your hands for sure.   Remember just because something can bio-degrade through time, microbes and weather, does not always mean it is not toxic either.


EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) is better known as Styrofoam...it is lightweight, has great insulating properties and is basically inert- until it is burned...black toxic clouds pour off of it. It also does not naturally biodegrade for at least 200 years. One reason Styrofoam plates and cups are banned at my house.

100% natural latex rubber may be biodegradable, but after adding chemicals, plasticizers and artificial dyes, how natural could it be? It may degrade after several years, but it’s surely not “biodegradable".

Some reference materials here for your review:
Biodegradation of Natural Rubber and Related Compounds: Recent Insights into a Hardly Understood Catabolic Capability of Microorganisms

http://aem.asm.org/content/71/6/2803
http://www.rubbernews.com/article/20020101/DATA...
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140501222120-1...
http://balloonsblow.org/latex-balloons-still-kill/

I would start with the above to help understand why materials selection is so important, not only now, but for our future as well.

williamj
Adam W.
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kimmyk's Avatargold

Check out SATOP... Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program. Maybe they can help you.

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aminadav's Avatar

Thanks Ralph and Kim, I'm looking into the references you provided.

I'd like to add that for this project low cost is very important... I can't afford using an exotic new material at

high-price.

Regards,

Ami

.

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