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  • 1 King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) Polymer Processing and Flow (P-PROF) Group, School of Energy, Environment and Materials Thungkru, Bangmod, Bangkok 10140 Thailand
  • 2 KMUTT Policy Innovation (PI) Centre Thungkru, Bangmod, Bangkok Thailand
  • 3 KMUTT Library Thai-Journal Citation Index (TCI) Centre Thungkru, Bangmod, Bangkok Thailand
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Abstract  

This article investigated contributions of natural rubber (NR) research through research articles and patents in Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-Expanded) and SCOPUS databases and related the results with productivity-export volumes during 2002–2006. 1,771 research papers and 5,686 patents on “natural rubber” were retrieved from the databases. The results revealed that the top five countries produced the NR raw material by the order of productivity volumes were Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and China whereas those produced the synthetic rubber were the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Germany. Among the top three countries for NR production, Malaysia became a NR producer for its own use, whereas Thailand and Indonesia still had higher export volumes. Research articles and patents on natural rubber had contribution shares of about 20.9% and 47.5% of all rubber publications, respectively. The patents on natural rubber were found to increase with time while the research articles remained unchanged. Journal of Applied Polymer Science was the most preferable for publishing the research papers on rubbers. Eight countries ranked in the top countries for contributing the research articles on natural rubber were the United States, India, Malaysia, France, Germany, Thailand, Japan and China, similar country distributions being also found for research articles on synthetic styrene-butadiene rubber except for Thailand and Malaysia. No linear relationship between the productivity-export volume and research publication number was observed, but the results implied that the growth rate for commercializing the rubber was greater than that for research and development of natural rubber. Most NR research works focused on neat NR, which was contributed the most by USA while NR blend and NR composite papers were mainly published by Indian researchers.