Liquid Latex Storage: How to Maintain Quality with Temperature-Controlled Solutions


Latex is a critical ingredient for industries worldwide. Almost every tire, foam mattress, surgical glove, balloon, and other rubber product contains natural latex because of its flexibility, elasticity, and durability. This pure latex is also a critical component in mold making and casting. 

To cater to these diverse needs, traditional packaging for liquid latex comes in a variety of forms, including tanks, barrels, and smaller containers. This product is somewhat fragile as it must not freeze, sit in the sun, or get too hot. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the optimal temperatures, containers, and heating solutions necessary to keep this product flowing.

Optimal Temperature Range for Liquid Latex Storage

Liquid latex must be stored and applied within a specific temperature range. If natural latex freezes, it will become permanently unusable. Conversely, if exposed to high temperatures of 100°F to 120°F (38°C – 48°C), it will vulcanize or harden within 8 to 12 hours. 

How Temperature Affects Latex Properties

Temperature affects the viscosity, drying time, and overall longevity of liquid latex. At high temperatures, dry natural rubber will become soft and sticky. As the temperature increases, liquid latex becomes less dense, flowing more easily. 

Proper Storage Temperatures

Liquid latex requires specific conditions for optimal storage. As mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to avoid extreme temperatures as they can affect the properties of the liquid latex. The best storage and handling temperatures are between 65°F (18°C) to 80°F (27°C).

There are other factors to consider for storage. Don’t store it in direct sunlight or near any heat source, as ultraviolet (UV) light and heat can induce a chemical reaction, deteriorating the latex’s quality. Avoid temperature fluctuation because it might lead to condensation inside the container, introducing moisture that can ruin the latex.

Proper storage can preserve the latex at optimal conditions, ensuring it remains usable for a more extended period. Additionally, uniform consistency is crucial for applications that require a smooth, even application. Latex that is stored correctly is easier to use, as it won’t harden or clump due to improper storage conditions.

Storing Latex for Shipment

The ideal material for storage tanks for the transport of latex is aluminum or mild steel. However, mild steel tanks must have a lining to prevent corrosion and direct contact with the metal.

During storage, rain, seawater, or condensation water can lead to rot, mold, mildew stains, and discoloration. Producers add ammonia as a preservative at 0.60 – 0.80 % for High-ammonia latex or 0.20 – 0.29 % for low-ammonia latex. Natural rubber, adequately preserved, stored out of direct sunlight, and in optimal conditions, can last up to 5 years.

Controlling the temperature of your totes with heated blankets or insulation will help mitigate temperature fluctuations and ensure that the latex arrives in optimal condition and is ready for use.

Correcting Temperature Issues

Keeping natural rubber latex (NRL) within its temperature parameters is essential to maintaining its qualities. If liquid latex deviates from the recommended temperature range, reheating or cooling can return it to the desired range. However, it’s important to note that prolonged exposure to sun, high heat, or freezing may permanently alter the properties of the latex. Discover custom temperature control to preserve your NLR shipments.

Adjusting the Viscosity of Heated or Cooled Latex

In some cases, heated or cooled liquid latex may require adjustments in viscosity. Thinning or thickening methods can be employed, such as diluting the latex with distilled water or ammonia or allowing evaporation to occur. It is crucial to follow guidelines and ensure that the latex is safe to use after altering its viscosity.

Fixing viscosity issues of natural rubber during manufacturing may require the addition of heat, centrifuging to remove water, or adding chemicals. For additional information, download the viscosity guide.

Liquid latex containing 38% rubber is about 4.6 times thicker than water. For practical and commercial purposes, producers use centrifugation to remove water and concentrate the latex to 60% rubber before transporting it. 

Answers to Common Latex Questions

Here are a few answers to questions about storing and handling liquid latex.

How do you store liquid latex?

Store liquid latex in closed containers, typically aluminum or coated mild steel totes or barrels.

How long can you store liquid latex?

In ideal conditions and with preservatives added, NRL can last up to 5 years in storage.

What temperature should liquid latex be stored at?

Store liquid latex in a climate-controlled area to prevent large swings in temperature and humidity. The optimal storage temperatures of natural rubber is 59°F to 86°F or (15°C to 30°C). For latex concentrates, the temperature range increases to 41°F to 95°F or (5°C to 35°C).

Is liquid latex sticky when dry?

Liquid latex is very sticky when it dries and will adhere to itself if accidentally folded over. 

Liquid Latex Storage with Temperature Control and Tote Heaters 

Natural rubber is an indispensable raw material, supplying half of the world’s rubber. Proper storage temperature will preserve the quality and performance of liquid latex. Storing it within the recommended temperature range helps preserve its properties. Consistency in temperature ensures a longer shelf life, desired viscosity, and ease of use. For specialty storage and heating solutions, consider exploring options like Tote Heaters.

As we delve into the world of bulk liquid latex storage and the critical temperature factors, discover the solutions that can transform your practices. Explore Tote Heaters.

As we delve into the world of bulk liquid latex storage and the critical temperature factors, discover the solutions that can transform your practices.


Shelby Thompson

Shelby Thompson is the head of standard product sales for Powerblanket. He has a distinguished military career, having served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In his time in the Marines, Shelby acquired an impressive skillset that he now uses in his current role. When he's not working, Shelby loves spending time outdoors with his wife, son, and daughter. He is also a semi-keen hunter, fair weather fisherman, and shooter. Unfortunately, Shelby also has something of an unlucky streak when it comes to Fantasy Football at the company.

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