Seasonal and clonal variations in technological and thermal properties of raw Hevea natural rubber



This study was undertaken over a 10-month period under environmental conditions within the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, to evaluate the causes of variation in the technological and thermal properties of raw natural rubber (NR) from different clones of Hevea brasiliensis (GT 1, PR 255, FX 3864, and RRIM 600). These clones were chosen to represent good clones available in Brazil. The technological properties of raw NR were evaluated in terms of their dry rubber content (DRC), Wallace plasticity, plasticity retention index (PRI), and Mooney viscosity. The thermal performance was evaluated with the thermogravimetry (TG)/differential thermogravimetry (DTG) technique. There were significant variations (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05) between clones and tappings for all technological properties, except for the percentage DRC among the clones. Of the clones studied, clone PR 255 presented the highest sensitivity to thermooxidation, as measured by its PRI value. The clone type and period of the year did not significantly influence the thermal behavior (TG/DTG under a nitrogen atmosphere) among the four clones evaluated. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011