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Development of latex foam pillows from deproteinized natural rubber latex

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Abstract

Currently, there is significant demand for pillows with improved pressure-relief features made from natural materials, alternatives to petrochemical-based foams. To meet the requirements, this study’s approach is to develop latex foam pillows from deproteinized natural rubber (DPNR) latex with a unique dual-density cervical-shaped structure. In this work, DPNR latex foam pillows were produced at three different density levels which are high-density, medium-density and low-density. Extractable protein content of latex foam made from DPNR was confirmed lower than latex foam made from low ammonia NR latex (LATZ) and of commercial NR latex foams, making DPNR pillows more hypoallergenic than others. The physical properties of the produced DPNR latex foams were examined in accordance with Malaysian Standard MS679, and were found to comply with all requirements stipulated in standard specifications. A novel dual-density cervical-shaped DPNR latex foam pillow prototype was produced, where the pillow has lower density at the upper part and higher density at the lower part. Pressure-mapping was used to visualize the pressure distribution patterns and to measure the average peak pressure when a mannequin head was placed on top of the pillow. The study observed that decreasing the density increases the softness of the DPNR latex foam. Softer latex foams led to larger surface contact area, and hence a reduced average peak pressure value. This cervical-shaped structure further increased the surface contact area between the pillow and mannequin head, and thus reduced further the average peak pressure value.

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Acknowledgements

This study is part of a PhD study. The authors are grateful for the financial support and facilities provided by the Malaysian Rubber Board and the University of Nottingham. The authors also would like to thank to Ahmad Syaheer Abu Aswad and Hishamudin Samat for their technical assistance during the duration of the study. Appreciation to Quasi-S Sdn. Bhd laboratory and Global Testing and Consultancy for Rubber laboratory for their kind support with the VOC test, and ERP, ERC and physical tests, respectively.

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Conceptualization: [RR, ABC, SK, JHH, FRMR, DDF]; Methodology: [RR, ABC, SK, FRMR] Formal analysis and investigation: [RR, ABC, SK, JHH, FRMR, DDF]; Writing - original draft preparation: [RR, ABC]; Writing - review and editing: [RR, ABC, SK, JHH, DDF]; Funding acquisition: [RR, ABC, JHH]; Resources: [RR, FRMR]; Supervision: [ABC, SK, JHH, DDF]. All authors reviewed the results and approved the final version of the manuscript

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Correspondence to Roslim Ramli.

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Ramli, R., Chai, A.B., Kamaruddin, S. et al. Development of latex foam pillows from deproteinized natural rubber latex. J Rubber Res 24, 615–630 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42464-021-00130-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42464-021-00130-7

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