Characterization of natural rubber membranes using scaling laws analysis
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Natural rubber extracted from the Hevea brasiliensis tree is an exclusive natural polymer with many applications of strategic importance. Membranes of the In-Nature latex were prepared by the casting method in petri dishes and also dissolved in different solvents (water, chloroform and toluene) after centrifugation. The centrifugation process enhances the transparency of the membranes, which is required for optical applications. Analysis based on atomic force microscopy coupled with the scaling laws was used to characterize the morphological properties of the membranes, where the interfaces formed in contact with air and with the glass substrate were investigated. The scaling laws parameters obtained demonstrated that the dynamics of the membrane formation are directly dependent on the solvent and influence the final surface morphology. This report offers new insights regarding appropriate procedures for membrane production depending on the desired application. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.