The Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) has high hopes for its new aerospace balloon, made of a combination of graphene extract and natural rubber. The MRC's CEO, Nor Hizwan Ahmad, said the research and collaboration carried out by Meditech Gloves Sdn Bhd and Cranfield University in the United Kingdom has shown huge potential through the application of this product and findings.
The MRC CEO said the evolution from plantation to the aerospace industry is a great achievement for Malaysia’s rubber industry. He also said the aerospace balloon made of graphene extract and infused into natural rubber is new in the market and patented by Levidian Nanosystems.
By infusing graphene extract into natural rubber to produce an aerospace balloon, this kind of balloon would be more cost-effective and sustainable compared to the rocket launched into space. Moreover, this particular balloon can be brought down once the satellite has been released from it, which is relatively tapping into sustainable technology, he said, adding that the cost would be tenfold less than a rocket launch.
The CEO noted that the council is working closely with Tun Abdul Razak Research Center (TARRC), a research center under the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) in London, to commercialize the balloon.
The research is done and ready to be launched. As of today, we are working in the final stage to produce the prototype of this aerospace balloon. The technology is ready and has been tested accordingly, he said, adding that the MRC has been given a three-year time frame to commercialize the invention.
Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Meditech, TARRC, MRB and MRC to collaborate and commercialize graphene space balloons.