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Superabsorbent polymer: application in natural rubber for making rubber roofing sheets

Doaa Samir Mahmoud (Department of Polymers and Pigments, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt)
Medhat Lotfy Tawfic (Department of Polymers and Pigments, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt)
Abdel Gawad Rabie (Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt)
Salwa H. El-Sabbagh (Department of Polymers and Pigments, National Research Center, Dokki, Egypt)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 5 October 2020

Issue publication date: 11 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to prepare superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) based on acrylic acid, which is considered hygroscopic material to incorporate in rubber formulation, which results in producing moisten rubber that is used as roofing sheets.


SAPs were synthesized via free radical bulk polymerization technique using different content of cross-linker N, N'-methylenebisacrylamide and potassium persulfate. Differential scanning calorimeter, thermal gravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy were used to characterize SAPs and confirmed the formation of cross-linked hydrogel structure. The water absorbency and the gel fraction for sodium polyacrylate (NaPA) were investigated. Then, the influence of obtained NaPA on the swelling behavior of the prepared natural rubber (NR) compound has been discussed.


Absorption characteristics and gel fraction of NaPA were found to depend on the content of the cross-linker in the system. SAPs are used to improve the absorbance behavior and performance of the NR to produce, roofing sheets using in hot weather. The morphology of the obtained rubber compound was well-explained by using a scanning electron microscope.

Research limitations/implications

The research provides a simple way to produce moisten rubber that can be used as a roofing sheet to overcome warm weather.


Moisten rubber roofing sheets provide a low-cost option in many developing countries with hot climates, and thus, help save the environment from global warming.



Financial support: This work is financially supported through National Research Centre (PhD thesis).


Mahmoud, D.S., Tawfic, M.L., Rabie, A.G. and El-Sabbagh, S.H. (2021), "Superabsorbent polymer: application in natural rubber for making rubber roofing sheets", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 50 No. 3, pp. 219-230.



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