The Deputy Minister of Malaysia’s Ministry for Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC), YB Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur, visited TARRC on 20th July, accompanied by members of his family. We were delighted that he was able to make the time to visit TARRC during his private trip to the UK.
Following an overview of TARRC’s activities, by Dato’ Dr Kamarudin Ab-Malek, TARRC’s CEO, the Deputy Minister was given a tour of the Laboratories by Dr Stuart Cook, Director of Research, and Mr Hamid Ahmadi, Head of Industry Support and Engineering Design Division.
The Deputy Minister was especially interested in the examples of TARRC’s development work on materials and products for commercialisation, in particular two environmentally sustainable materials: the Natural-FR fire retardant rubber compound already in use in entrance matting in London Underground Stations and Ekoprena speciality rubber which has been demonstrated to provide the required combination of low rolling resistance and good wet grip in tyre treads and is currently undergoing further road testing on bus fleets in Malaysia, following earlier tests in Europe.
Mr Ahmadi explained TARRC’s role in the development of rubber bearings and other devices for the protection of structures against vibration, particularly in earthquake zones. Notable examples included Malaysia’s second Penang Bridge, which uses over 2000 rubber bearings designed at TARRC and manufactured in Malaysia, along with rolling ball devices for lightweight structures and a rubber wall joint suitable for private dwellings.
The Deputy Minister was also shown TARRC’s Biotechnology Unit which is utilising expertise in the analysis of the rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) genome to produce improvements in yield and disease resistance.
During the visit the Deputy Minister was presented with a copy of the recent books, 'From Pelham to Penang' and The Role of Natural Rubber: Turning Tyres Green' by Dato' Dr Kamarudin Ab-Malek.
The Deputy Minister commented on how fruitful the visit was and how he enjoys being able to see first hand the work carried out at TARRC laboratories and hearing directly from the researchers.
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