Essential Uses of Rubber Products
In the modern world, we use, feel, and see many rubber products. These products take many different forms and some, without a person knowing, are made entirely of rubber. Rubber is a fascinating material that has given the world much in improvements.
The History of Rubber
Natural rubber is originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. People who wanted to use the rubber would "tap" the tree by making an incision into the bark just deep enough to tap the vessels without harming the tree's growth. Once the incision was made, a sticky, milky substance would seep out. This substance would be collected in small buckets and refined into a usable rubber.
After World War II, refinements to the process of creating synthetic rubber were developed. Synthetic rubber exceeded the production of natural rubber by the early 1960s.
How is Rubber Harvested?
Rubber is extracted from rubber trees around the world. A typical rubber tree can produce for about 25 years. Harvesting can begin once the rubber trees are five years old. High-yield rubber clones have been made for big commercial rubber farms.
The main source of natural rubber is Asia. Asia accounts for almost 90% of all output. A climate with heavy rainfall and zero frost is required to grow rubber trees. If frost does occur, an entire plantation of rubber trees will produce rubber that might become brittle and break once it has been refined.
The Properties of Rubber
Rubber material has a wide range of properties and configurations. Natural rubber, when purified, is the chemical polyisoprene. This chemical can be produced synthetically. Synthetic rubber can be used extensively in many applications and products, much of which you use today. Rubber is extremely waterproof. It is also flexible and can stretch.
Rubber consists of long polymer chains interlinked at points. When rubber is vulcanized, it creates more disulfide bonds between the polymer chains, shortening the sections of chain. This results in a tighter chain and gives the rubber more strength and makes the rubber harder.
Synthetic Rubber vs. Natural Rubber
A substitute for natural rubber is synthetic rubber. Because natural rubber comes from latex, there is a limit to the range of properties available to it. Vulcanization and adding sulfur are used to improve the properties of natural rubber, sometimes synthetic rubber is the best choice.
Applications & Uses of Rubber
Today, synthetic rubber is used in a variety of industrial applications, including printing. Most printers, including large-scale commercial printers, use rubber covered rollers to get the job done. Rubber molded products, some finished by utilizing die cut services, can be used in industrial and household applications. The largest consumers of rubber are tires and tubes, followed by general rubber goods. Other significant uses of rubber are:
- Medical Gloves
- And much more!
Rubber is also used as adhesives in many products and industrial applications. Rubber products take many different shapes and forms and are used in thousands of applications.
Your Go-To Source for Expert Rubber Knowledge & Quality Products
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