has been available since
time immemorial, Synthetic Rubber
has come of use for less than a
hundred years. Synthetic rubber plants were built around the world after
1945, primarily in North America, Japan and Europe. In 1960, use of
synthetic rubber was more than that of natural rubber for the first time.
Synthetic rubber has maintained this lead since then. As per a report
published in 2001, the world makes around 11.5 million tonnes of synthetic
rubber each year. USA is the largest producer of synthetic rubber by far,
followed by China, the EU and Japan.
What is Synthetic Rubber?
Rubber is a collective term for
macromolecular substances of natural origin known as natural rubber (NR) or
synthetic origin or manmade known as synthetic rubber (SR).
is one of the types
. It is a white, crumbly, plastic mass which is processed and
vulcanized in the same manner as natural rubber. In other words, synthetic
rubber is an artificially produced material having properties similar to
natural rubber. Most synthetic rubbers are obtained by polymerization or
polycondensation of unsaturated monomers. There are wide varieties of
different synthetic rubbers, reflecting the various different applications
and the chemical and mechanical properties they have. Co-polymerization of
different monomers leads to the material properties of synthetic rubber to
be varied across a wide range.
Check out Types of Synthetic
to get a better idea on the different types of synthetic rubber
that are being produced world wide by using different chemicals and
minerals. Each synthetic rubber has its own individual properties,
advantages and diasadvantages.
Factors Leading to Synthetic Rubber Production
Though, World war
II became the force for the emergence of synthetic rubber on a large-scale
basis when governments began building plants to balance natural rubber
shortages, there were other various reasons as well after the war which led
to the development of an alternative or substitute for natural rubber. Some
important factors resulting to the production of synthetic rubber are
- Rising prices for natural rubber on the world market in response to
the general state of the economy
- Political events which cut customers off from the suppliers of raw
- Long transport distances
- Regional constraints with respect to establishing rubber plantations
- The increase in global demand for rubber.
Production Process of Synthetic Rubber
Synthetic rubber can be
produced in different ways. One common process adopted by synthetic rubber
manufacturers is shown below:
Applications of Synthetic Rubber
Synthetic Rubber Usage
rubber, synthetic rubber has a varied range of applications, such as
- Tire industry (car, aircraft and bicycle tires)
- Drive belts
- Medical equipment
- Floor coverings
- Conveyor belts
- Molded parts etc.
Properties of Synthetic Rubber
There are different varieties of
synthetic rubber, each having their unique properties. Some of the common
properties of synthetic rubber
are as follows:
- Better abrasion resistance
- Good Elasticity
- Better heat and aging resistance
- Electrical insulation material
- Flexible at low temperatures
- Flame retardant
- Resistant to grease& oil etc.