THE ROLE OF IRRI IN DEVELOPING NATURAL RUBBER GOODS AS SUPPORTING MATERIALS FOR THE NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT

Arief Ramadhan, Adi Cifriadi, Henry Prastanto, Santi Puspitasari, Asron Ferdian Falaah, Dadi Rusadi Maspanger

Abstract

Increasing the domestic natural rubber (NR) consumption is a mutual commitment among the world’s top three NR producing countries (Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia). This commitment was intended to strengthen NR price in international commodity market. The NR price continues to remain non-remunerative since early 2012. The Indonesian Government declared a policy on the utilization of NR goods as supporting materials for the national development infrastructure project. Some of the rubber goods which have potential to be developed in the infrastructure sector are rubberized roads and elastomeric bridge bearings. Indonesian Rubber Research Institute (IRRI) has been successful in the development of promising NR goods such as prevulcanized latex as an additive for the synthesis of rubberized asphalt. High quality NR bridge bearing, another innovation, is under trial production on an industrial scale before being commercialized. This study summarizes the IRRI’s research activities in preparing both these NR goods. According to IRRI’s projection and analysis, the usage of prevulcanized NR latex and NR bridge bearing to support the infrastructure project would absorb 60,000 and 1,600 tons of Indonesian NR production, respectively.  It is also expected to develop the downstream rubber industry.

Keywords: rubberized asphalt, elastomeric bridge bearing; infrastructure sector

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