Natural Rubber

Natural Rubber (NR) is harvested from the latex glands of the rubber tree (standard commercial plant is the Hevea Brasiliensis).

Rubber tree|General background on rubber and elastomersWhen tapping the tree, thin strips of the bark are cut off to promote a flow of latex which is then collected in a cup. The depth of cut is critical to ensure good flow with minimal damage to the tree.

A typical standard rubber tree will yield approximately 2 kg of rubber per year, will take 5 to 10 years to reach tapping stage which usually lasts a further 20 to 25 years.  

A plantation is often based on 250 trees per hectare yielding some 500 kg per hectare per year although in some regions certain improved varieties can yield more than four times this volume or some 2200 kg per hectare per year.   



The main producing regions are South East Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), other Asia (including China), Africa and South America. 

Tyre sidewalls and treads form the largest application area for natural rubber and most of the natural rubber produced is consumed by the tyre industry.

Further background on rubber and elastomers

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