When you find yourself making the decision to buy rubber products, do you really know what that rubber is all about? Do you know anything about the product and the substance that you are bringing into your home or business? Not that you have anything to worry about, because generally, elastomers are pretty harmless. But whether it is industrial rubber wholesale or flexible rubber parts used as bracelets that you are buying, they all share the same origins and qualities as a product. Rubber as a product has a long history, and simply as a substance, it goes even further back into history. With the discovery of rubber and its many uses, an entire industry was unfolded in a matter of decades, bringing with it incredible amounts of research, manufacturing, and consumption. With new advances in technology, as well as the innovative ideas of inventors and scientists, rubber has pervaded perhaps more applications than we had originally thought possible, and has far surpassed its simple uses centuries ago. That being said, in order to introduce you to the wondrous world that is rubber, here is a short yet informative list on some facts about rubber.
Rubber comes from a tree called the Hevea brasiliensis which originated in South America.
The tree produces a latex material when it is “wounded,” which is the basis for the creation of natural rubber.
The Para rubber tree, as some call it, is great for carbon sequestration in the atmosphere!
Its first documented use was by the Olmecs, who boiled the latex which came from the tree to form a ball which they used in their game which was similar to modern-day football and basketball.
An explorer by the name of Henry Wickham brought rubber tree seeds overseas to be planted in England, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia
Southeast Asian countries are now the more-dominant producers of natural rubber
During World War II, when Japan was occupying rubber three plantations in Southeast Asia, and restricting the exportation of rubber, other countries began researching the creation of an artificial rubber which could be used on the tires of the many vehicles that were being produced during wartime.
Perhaps an obvious fact, rubber is elastic, meaning that it can stretch and then return to its original shape.
Rubber is a polymer of isoprene. A polymer is a chain-like strand of repeating molecules, and its chemical makeup is as such: CH2=C(CH3)CH=CH2
Rubber can be vulcanized, meaning that sulfur can be used to strengthen the bonds between the individual molecules of the polymer, thus strengthening the material and making it more resistant to abrasion and wear. Many industries using rubber wholesale and in large quantities are produced using this process.
The first synthetic rubber which was suitable for tires was made from a combination of the compounds styrene and butadiene, synthesized at I.G. Farben in the Soviet Union, called styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR).
The majority of rubber produced today is synthetic.
There are many different types of synthetic rubber, each with slightly different characteristics, such as silicone, neoprene, nitrile, and EPDM rubber.
Rubber, mostly from discarded tires, can also be recycled and made into new products, whether it is in the form of large rolls or flexible rubber parts.
As a resource, recycled rubber is magnificent—there are over 250 million tires that are discarded yearly.
Recycling rubber can even produce new forms of fuel that are comparable to petroleum-based fuels and coal.
Recycled rubber is friendly to the environment: as a substance, it is safe; it keeps tires out of landfills, and is made with the environment in mind.
Rubber can be molded into unique products or pressed to create sheets that work well for many applications.
Rubber is now found in the mixtures that are used for construction projects and the development of roadways.
Rubber is even found in apparel, such as any clothing which uses elastic bands and in the soles of shoes which will provide protection
Rubber is an excellent option for flooring in kitchens, gyms, factories, and many other commercial places. It protects against injury and fatigue. This is perhaps one of the first options you consider when you buy rubber products.
Rubber is a great insulator.
Sometimes, when rubber is artificially produced, it functions well as an adhesive or a protective coating.
Rubber can be used as a seal for things such as car doors, car windows, refrigerator doors, and camera lenses. It prevents the leaking of gases and liquids.
Some people have created entire homes using recycled rubber!
And there you have it, an insightful list of the facts about rubber! Whether you are looking for sheet rubber wholesale or hoping to find some sort of flexible rubber parts for a more specialized need, you now have some insight into rubber’s long history and the ways it has been involved in our world. When you buy rubber products, you are buying a vast story along with them!