Rubber is a malleable material used for an array of purposes. It can be vegan or industrially synthesized. Some of the common uses include clothes, toys, pipes, tubes, gloves, boots, raincoats, and so on. It is used in the production of about 4,0000 objects. The rubber market is worth $40.77 billion and is estimated to rise to $51 billion by 2027.
The rubber market is highly prevalent due to its multitude of properties. Such as resistance to high and low temperatures, malleability, and toughness. In cumulation, it has vast uses in differing forms. Silicone rubber is harnessed into the automotive industry and is a major component used in its production.
HISTORY OF RUBBER
Charles Goodyear discovered rubber in the mid-1800s. His recurrent experiments in this field can be credited to the growth of the rubber industry. He majorly invested and dedicated his life to pioneering rubber.
Around that time it was referred to as “miracle material” because of its versatile properties.
Goodyear moved across the USA to conduct his research and dabbled in various fields to embark on results. The ongoing experiments finally gave birth to a formula that could sustain high temperatures and still came out unscathed. The process was called vulcanization and Goodyear finally patented it in 1844.
Vulcanization of rubber entails a process of heating it in the presence of sulfur that further leads to improved elasticity and longevity.
MYRIAD PURPOSES OF RUBBER
Rubber is typically used as a raw material in culmination with other substances. Its unique properties make it so multifaceted.
- Tires – One of the more prominent elements in the fabrication of tires is rubber. It is resistant to different temperatures and is robust. The combination of compressed airs and rubber together allows them to carry heavy loads. In addition, it is also less expensive and more durable. It allows for a seamless noise-free driving environment.
- Medical uses – Imagining the existence of a healthcare domain in the absence of rubber is out of the question. It is used in prolific gloves, surgical tubes, flasks, birth control devices, and so on. There are no other materials that can substitute rubber or latex.
- Rubber bands – They may seem like trivial objects but their utility is vastly popular. From aiding as a stationery commodity or wielded in the kitchen, it has several other purposes.
- Boots – Rubber boots are made to weather against extreme temperatures or terrains. Their sturdiness and low maintenance properties are major takeaways.
- Latex dresses – This is a commonly spotted fad. Their permeability and tightness give a sniffy look.
- Shoes – The primary reasoning behind the usage of rubber in shoes has to do with it being low maintenance. They are easier to style and more durable.
These products are largely manufactured with synthetic rubber because they are durable and inexpensive.
TYPES OF RUBBER
Rubber can be divided into two types. Synthetic and natural rubber. Let us see their differences.
Natural rubber- It is produced from a white liquid called latex. It is stained, weakened, and further treated with acid prior to being rolled into sheets. Because it is manufactured employing natural substances, it is eco-friendly and sustainable. Natural rubber is also recyclable and leaves a minimal footprint on the environment. Products made with natural rubber include mattresses, water bottles, balloons, shoe soles, and condoms.
Synthetic rubber – Because natural rubber is more difficult to obtain in copious amounts, it is substituted with synthetic rubbers. The most commonly found synthetic rubbers are neoprene, styrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are not sustainable or eco- friendly. Products made out of synthetic rubber include conveyor belts, tires, hoses, surf sets, and so on.
IS SILICONE THE SAME AS RUBBER?
Silicone is a type of synthetic rubber, made using different properties. It has better resistance to high temperatures and a preferable choice for certain domains. The primary application of silicone can be witnessed in outdoor elements. However, it is not as robust. The obvious choice for resistance needed situations is natural rubber. Eg: conveyor belts.
To conclude, the utilization of rubber has assuaged our lives but burning it can release many harmful gases. They carry compounds that endanger the atmosphere. Hence, propagating natural rubber must become prolific.
Unknowingly we use rubber products throughout the day and bettering their composition will be instrumental for everyone. No material has been known to replace it and hence continues to be a monopoly.
Being a poor conductor of electricity is a major high point. It is, therefore, omnipresent and persists to be a “miracle material.”