Rubber and its various uses has become a crucial part of modern life. Natural rubber is an elastic material produced from the latex sap from particular types of rubber tree. The hydrocarbon polymer can also be artificially recreated producing synthetic rubber.
In addition to the wide variety of modern uses, rubber as a material has a long and rich history, as discussed in this article from The Guardian.
The rubber trees producing the milky latex sap from which natural rubber is obtained can be found in subtropical and tropical areas of Africa, the Amazon and South East Asia. The sap is found in the shape of a tube and these tubes are formed from rubber molecules consisting of eight hydrogen and five carbon atoms. The molecules link together in large numbers forming a chain, which is what provides rubber with its elastic properties.
Synthetic rubber is a term for any manufactured elastomer that is elastic. Synthetic rubbers can be made from a wide range of different polymers and each type will have slightly different qualities. The different properties of these various synthetic properties can be customised to the specific requirements of various industries that depend on rubber products. This can be ideal for rubber injection moulding and the types of components this process can produce, which can be tailored to the exact requirements of the industry involved.
Natural rubber cannot be used for industry until it has been processed further. Certain properties of natural rubber, such as low resistance to abrasion and reduced tensile strength are actively disadvantageous for commercial use. Vulcanisation is the process by which natural rubber is chemically converted into a more durable material. A curative such as sulphur is added to natural rubber during the process, which makes the material less sticky and more suitable for commercial use. Vulcanised rubber will vary in hardness depending on how much sulphur is used during the process. For example, the rubber suited to tyres requires 5% of sulphur. The level of sulphur will adapt how suitable it is for different items and some industries will require varying sulphur levels such as a rubber injection moulding company.
These different types of rubber can be used in a multitude of ways both for industrial processes and for commercial use.