TARRC was established in 1938 as the British Rubber Producers’ Research
Association (BRPRA) and was later named as the Natural Rubber Producers’ Research
Association, (NRPRA), in 1957, Malaysian Rubber Producers’ Research Association,
(MRPRA), in 1973 and finally Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in 1996.
BRPRA focused on conducting fundamental research including studies in
latex coagulation and stability. Besides latex, BRPRA has also carried out
studies in the dry rubber sector such as sulphur vulcanisation and
rubber-to-metal bonding which are some of the key processes in producing rubber
products. Understandings in engineering properties of rubber were developed and
proved important in the prediction of service life of engineering components.
Knowledge in tyre testing made it possible for the development of accelerated
test rig to study long term performance at a lower cost.
NRPRA (1957 – 1973) focused on “consumption research” for rubber, to complement the “production research” carried out by the then Rubber Research Institute of Malaya. The ultimate aim of NRPRA was to increase the consumption of rubber. The organisation studied and explored the science and technology of latex formulation that have impacted the development of the latex industry in Malaysia, which is now the largest rubber gloves manufacturer in the world. Besides, the research also focused on the engineering design of rubber products through computer modelling and simulation. The research findings on engineering properties of the materials are widely adopted in various commercial computer simulation software. In addition, the Technical Advisory Service platform was also established to assist manufacturers overcoming issues related to compound design and manufacturing. The derived knowledge and understanding of using rubber to protect structures from vibration has led to the development of earthquake protection rubber bearings.
MRPRA (1973 – 1996) continued to work towards increasing the consumption of rubber through applied research work. More rubber formulations were developed to cater the need for different product requirements. In 1974, the company moved to its’ currently location in Brickendonbury where the Mansion building was restored to provide administration office spaces while other existing buildings on site were upgraded to become the research laboratories.
Chemically modified natural rubber was developed to extend the working limits of natural rubber. This advanced material, is now being commercialized in Malaysia as Ekoprena® and is being used as an environmental friendly option to manufacture the flame-retardant entrance matting at several London Underground stations. In addition, the research centre has also made significant progress in the field of blending synthetic rubber and natural rubber to produce new useful materials with enhanced properties. Natural rubber rich tyre treads have been developed that exhibit similar properties to an all-synthetic rubber tread.
1984, TARRC established a consultancy unit, Rubber Consultants, focused on
providing technical and consultancy services to the industry around the world.
Since 1996, TARRC continued to showcase the role in the rubber industry through
more applied research including the promotion on the application of rubber
products and the Malaysian Rubber Industry to the world. One of the biggest
achievements of TARRC is the use of high damping natural rubber bearings for
the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (also known as the Second Penang
Bridge) to protect the bridge from earthquakes. This is the first commercial
project in Malaysia on the use of rubber bearings for earthquake protection.
These bearings were designed collaboratively by TARRC and the Malaysian Rubber
Board (MRB), and the bearings were produced by a Malaysian rubber products
manufacturer under the supervision of TARRC and MRB.
2018, TARRC celebrated 80 years of research and development work in rubber. A
simple, yet remarkable celebration was held in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with
the 2018 International Rubber Conference held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention
Centre. The Board of Directors of TARRC, Board Members of MRB, Senior
Management of TARRC, Senior Management of MRB and representatives from the
Malaysian Rubber Industry were present during the celebration.
TARRC continues to offer the technical support and consultancy services to the Malaysian rubber industry and the global industry. In collaboration with MRB, research programs are tailored to serve the interests of expanding the Malaysian rubber products manufacturing sector and the opportunities and markets for high quality Malaysian natural rubber.