At What Temperatures Should Natural Rubber Latex be Stored?
John Woon (Senior Latex Consultant): Heat would increase the kinetic energy of the rubber particles resulting in the increase of both the frequency and violence of collisions among the rubber particles which could result in the formation of coagulum. Heat would also evaporate water and drive away the ammonia in the latex with the accompanying drop of pH and skin formation on the surface of latex. Drop in pH would also lead to latex destabilisation.On the other hand the stabilising system within the latex could be rendered ineffective when the latex is subjected to freezing temperature. Hence latex must be protected from frost. The latex is therefore best kept in-door at a storage temperature of between 10 to 30°C.
If latex is stored for more than 6 months, some minor adjustment by adding some soap stabiliser might be required. Excessive loss of ammnoia in storage tanks and partially emptied drums should be prevented as this could lead to destabilisation of latex ( e.g. if pH has dropped to below 10.0, ammonia solution should be added to bring it to about 10.5).
The latex should be agitated at slow rate periodically to prevent excessive creaming.