Haikou, China – Hainan Rubber Group has set up a research facility, which will take on graphene/natural rubber composites as its first major project.
The company’s ‘joint laboratory for specialty natural rubber’ involves, as a partner, Aero Engine Corp. of the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials – China’s largest aerospace materials engineering institute.
As well as its work to develop graphene-rubber materials, the Hainan Rubber partnership aims to build production facilities for such material as the research makes progress.
The production facilities will be China’s first graphene/natural rubber composites line, according to a November statement from the rubber maker.
The research, it said, will be based on Hainan Rubber’s wet mixing technology for natural rubber composites and the Institute’s studies on graphene and related applications.
Overall, the lab plans to develop functional speciality natural rubber and derivatives used in sectors such as aviation, aerospace, shipping, weaponry and high-speed railroad.
The two parties are also looking to facilitate research into rubber-asphalt pavement materials, in partnership with the Malaysian Rubber Board.