Rubber has long been used by man in their daily living. Naturally derived from the rubber tree, this versatile material is turned into an incredible array of products that require durability, elasticity, insulation, and waterproofing properties.
How is it sourced and produced?
The production of natural rubber starts with the tapping of matured rubber trees. The trees, mostly raised in Africa and Southeast Asian nations, are tapped by making incisions on the trunk. Milky fluid known as latex flows down from the incisions and is collected. The latex will then be processed to create raw rubber, Siltech Industries Ltd explains.
What are the properties of rubber?
The material is known for being highly durable and waterproof. Other than being very elastic, it also makes good electrical insulator. It also has non-slip properties, making it an ideal safety solution in many industries. Natural rubber is long lasting and hardly tears. Other varieties of this material are used in industries that require resistance to oil, solvent, and various chemicals.
What is synthetic rubber?
The rubber industry also heavily relies on synthetic rubber such as silicone rubber, acrylic rubber, and butyl rubber. According to the International Rubber Study Group, there are over 200 types of synthetic rubber. These types differ from natural rubber as they use other materials such as petroleum, crude oil, and various gases.
What are its uses?
Majority of produced rubber goes to the automotive industry, where they are used as tires and other vehicle parts. This versatile material is also used in thousands of different products used in various settings on a daily basis. It is used as a material for shoes, bags, coats, mats, flooring, and many household supplies. Rubber is also used in the production of playground materials, balls, balloons and toys. Many healthcare supplies also use rubber.
Various fields also heavily rely on rubber manufacturing such healthcare, fashion, sports, transportation, and industries that use insulators, adhesives, and paint.
Rubber’s unique properties make it a highly versatile and widely used material. If the production of this highly beneficial material stops, many industries would surely have a hard time looking for an equally beneficial and versatile alternative.