There are a lot of materials today that were developed accidentally, and some were intentionally innovated to amplify the qualities of their former ones. All materials in this world can either be extracted naturally or manufactured synthetically. The reason for the differences in this process liesin its usage.
Rubber is just one of the inventions that have wide applications in different industries today because of its excellent properties. It can either be manufactured using natural or synthetic materials.The natural fiber is extracted from the inner bark of Hevea brasiliensis, a tall softwood tree that is indigenous in the tropical country ofBrazil. Its elastic properties are contributed by the presence of elastic polymers called elastomers which are responsible for its shape recoverability after stretching. The name “rubber” was created when an English chemist Joseph Priestly discovered that it can erase pencil marks by rubbing it against the graphite marks. Its commercial applications, especially in automotive, only started when the vulcanization process was established in 1839 by Charles Goodyear.
The Reason behind the Development of Synthetic Rubber
Naturally, derived materials have their sets of disadvantages which limits their application in this ever-advancing world. For this reason, synthetic rubbers were developed to address the issues of natural fibers, which have low heat and cold resistance, which affects theiroverall durability. To produce synthetic rubbers, the rubber is treated with sulfur and heat to enhance its strength at the same time retain its elasticity. Due to the limitations in producing natural fibers like the exposure of the rubber tree to diseases, allergies caused by latex, and the reduction of the plantation, various researchers are trying to develop new means of producing synthetic rubber by utilizing petroleum combined with other chemicals through vulcanization process. In this way, various synthetic are produced in the market with each possessing different properties.
Exemplary Properties of Rubbers
Rubbers are known to have the following qualities which makes them a good candidate for various industrial applications:
- Enhanced heat and cold resistance
- Good shock resistance
- Stress, corrosion, and external damage resistant
- Ease in safekeeping
- High abrasion resistance
- Low production cost compared to natural rubbers
- Excellent tear resistance
- Good tensile strength and modulus
- Overall, these properties lengthen the service life of rubbers.
- Industrial Applications of Rubbers
Below are several industries that utilize rubbers in their processes.
- Agricultural Industry
- Aerospace/ Aviation Industry
- Automobile Industry
- Chemical Industry
- Construction Industry
- Defense Industry
- Medical Industry
- Mining Industry
- Petroleum Industry
- Power Generation
- Printing & Paper Industry
- Textile Industry
Almost all of these industries utilize rubbers to protect a certain material, improve its mobility, and add fillers. For example, tires, latex gloves, and gaskets.
If you are looking for rubbers for your cars or home use, you may check this site: https://www.clarkrubber.com.au/