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Ribbed smoked sheet (RSS) is produced by the first filtering field latex to remove dirt and impurities. This filtered latex is then mixed with concentrated formic acid, which causes the rubber to coagulate and these solids are then rolled into raw sheet rubber before being dried for six hours in the sun to produce air-dried sheets. If these sheets are then smoked or further dried, a process that reduces the moisture content and with it the risk of fungal infection, these are called ‘Ribbed Smoked Sheet’ (RSS). This is a form of dried rubber which can be stored for longer periods of time than can other types.
It is the main raw material for natural rubber products and also generally classified into 5 classes according to purity, elasticity, and color.
Generally, the quality of RSS is graded on a scale from RSS1 to RSS5, with RSS1 the highest quality and RSS5 the lowest. Grading is made according to a variety of criteria, including the number of air bubbles in the product, the proportion of dirt and impurities, its color, the consistency of the material, and so on. Over 80% of Thailand’s output is of RSS3, which has properties equivalent to TSR, and this can be used in the production of tires, belts, hosing, rubber parts for automobiles, rubber shoes, and many more.