Uses of Rubber

Rubber is a valuable component of numerous products used in the day-to-day lives of humans. Some of the most important applications of rubber are listed in this article.

What are the Uses of Rubber?

  • Rubber moulded products are widely used industrially (and in some household applications) in the form of rubber goods and appliances.
  • Rubber is used in garden hoses and pipes for small scale gardening applications.
  • Most of the tyres and tubes used in automobiles are made up of rubber. Therefore, rubber plays a very important role in the automobile industry and the transportation industry.
  • Rubber products are also employed in matting and flooring applications.
  • Medical gloves and other protective equipment which are manufactured for use by medical professionals are often made up of rubber.
  • Vulcanized rubber, a special type of rubber prepared by cross-linking the polymer chains with disulfide bonds, is widely used in protective equipment in the sports industry. For example, the pads and guards used in the popular sport cricket are made up of vulcanized rubber.
  • Uncured rubber is known for its applications in adhesives and cements, making it a product of choice for the construction industry.
  • Uncured rubber is also used in friction tapes and in insulating material.
  • Insulating footwear and insulating blankets are often made using crepe rubber.
  • Relatively soft variants of rubber are known to have a wide range of applications in the manufacture of conveyor belts.
  • The flexibility offered by certain types of rubber make them ideal for use in printing presses and wringers for domestic clothes.
  • Rubber is also used in the production of balls, balloons, and cushions.

What is Natural Rubber?

Natural rubber, also known as latex, Indian rubber, caucho, Amazonian rubber, or simply rubber, is a substance that is made up of polymers of isoprene (an organic compound) along with a small quantity of impurities (present in the form of other organic compounds plus water). Thailand and Indonesia are amongst the leading producers of rubber. The polyisoprene forms which are used as natural rubbers are often referred to as elastomers.

Rubber is harvested primarily from the rubber tree (usually as latex). The latex is a colloid with a sticky, milky nature which can be collected by making cuts in the bark of the and storing the fluid which is released from these cuts in vessels via a process known as “tapping.” This latex is then subjected to a refining process in order to transform it into rubber which is ready to be used commercially. In the collection cup (which is used in the rubber tapping process) latex is permitted to coagulate in large areas. The coagulated lumps are collected for commercialization and processed into dry shapes.

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