Making Rubber Tire
The modern society is heavily dependent upon rubber- both
! Rubber products are
used everywhere- at work, at home, at play, and even while we move using any
mode of transportation- automobiles, trains or aircrafts. Industries too use
rubber to make various products ranging from rubber hoses, belts, gaskets to
tires and rubber molding among many other rubber products. The common factor
between all these goods is the rubber but there are differences too and the
basic difference is the type of rubber used- natural and synthetic rubber!
In this article we will try to know why do we use natural and synthetic
rubber along with various applications of natural and synthetic rubber. We
will also come to know about the advantages of both- natural as well as
Natural and Synthetic Rubber- Definition
Before moving on to know
the uses and advantages of natural and synthetic rubber, it seems apt to
know the basic definition of natural rubber as well as synthetic rubber.
is a polymer found in the sap of the rubber tree.
This sap is collected, and when exposed to air and mild heat, it gives
natural rubber. However, as natural rubber is very hard, it becomes valuable
only after vulcanizing - heating in the presence of sulfur. The process of
vulcanization makes natural rubber a more coherent substance, somewhat soft
and having elasticity.
is any type of artificial elastomer, invariably a
polymer. It is produced in factories with the use of different catalysts.
The feedstocks for synthetic rubber industry are products of the
Rubber- natural or synthetic- is usually vulcanized, most often with
sulfur. For some specialty uses, other agents are also used sometimes.
Why do We Use Natural and Synthetic Rubber?
Due to its many
characteristics like elasticity, resilience, and toughness, rubber is used
for making many products for such sectors as transportation, industrial
products, consumer products, hygienic and medical sectors. Whether natural
or synthetic- rubber has certain common characteristic features because of
which we use natural and synthetic rubber.
- Rubber is elastic as well as water-resistant.
- It is resistant to alkalies and weak acids.
- Rubber has such characters as elasticity, toughness, impermeability,
adhesiveness, and electrical resistance. All these properties of rubber
make it useful as an adhesive, coating composition, a molding compound,
and an electrical insulator.
- It traps air and thus it floats.
- It is a bad conductor of electricity and thus doesn't conduct
Natural or synthetic rubber- both of them in their native form are useless.
After addition of chemicals , these rubbers take on properties that cannot
be competed by any other known material in the world. Depending on the
chemicals used, products made of rubber can be soft, resilient, and/or hard
in varying degrees.
When talking about individual advantages of all
types of synthetic rubber
has better aging and weathering properties, it is more resistant to oil,
solvents, oxygen, ozone, and certain chemicals. Synthetic rubber also has
better resilience over a wider temperature range.
Individual advantages of natural rubber include less building up of heat
from flexing and greater resistance to tearing when hot. It is this superior
tear strength and excellent resistance to heat that makes natural rubber
better suited for high-performance tyres for heavy vehicles like trucks and
buses, as well as more sophisticated ones like racing cars and aircrafts.
Natural and Synthetic Rubber Applications
The majority of
rubber- natural as well as synthetic rubber- is used for automobile tires.
However, for this and for similar other applications of rubber, a filler or
reinforcing agent must be added (carbon black is by far the most common
filler for the purpose). The unprocessed rubber, especially natural rubber,
is used in such products as adhesives, contraceptives, and latex balloons.
Vulcanized rubber which is harder, less elastic, and more durable is
extensively used for various purposes such as for making vehicle tyres and
hose pipes and even artificial hearts to waterproof gaskets. The following
areas use natural and synthetic rubber for making various products.
- Transportation sector uses most of the natural and synthetic rubber.
It is the largest end user of rubber most of which goes into making
tires and tire products.
- Rubber is also used for making industrial products like transmission
and elevator belts, hoses, tubes, industrial lining, bearings etc.
- Synthetic and natural rubbers are also used for making consumer goods
such as footwear, sports goods like balls, erasers etc.
- Health sector too uses rubber for making such products as condoms,
catheters, surgical gloves etc.
- Rubber is also used for making many seismic materials such as seismic
rubber bearings used in building construction.
- Rubber is used for making latex goods too like threads, adhesives,
molded foams, gloves etc.