How is Rubber made
When you think of rubber, you probably think of so many different things. From rubber gaskets to tyres, or even the little rubber on top of your pencil. In fact, this material finds its way into thousands upon thousands of different products.
Rubber has been used for over 1,000 years and came from entirely natural sources. But these days, rubber is just as likely to be made artificially. Rubber is a very versatile material, but how is rubber made, and where does it come from?
The Origins of Rubber
We have been using rubber for thousands of years, and while these days most rubber produced is synthetic, the early forms of rubber came from natural sources. The earliest known source of rubber was the rubber tree Hevea Brasiliensis, which came from Brazil. From there, it was introduced to the Far East. And while these days, rubber in its natural form comes from the Far East, synthetic rubber is more commonly used. The early forms of rubber were made from natural sources but as demand increased, artificial or synthetic rubber was developed by scientists.
Watch the video below to learn more about the origins of rubber or continue reading about the extraction process.
The Process of Extracting Natural Rubber
No doubt you have heard of latex. Natural rubber is made by extracting this latex in liquid form from certain types of trees.
The process of gathering latex from the trees is by cutting the bark and collecting the sap in cups. This is also known as tapping. Because the tree sap can solidify, ammonia is added into this process, followed by an acid which is part of a process called coagulation. Once the mixture has been extracted, it is passed through rollers which removes any excess water. From here, the rubber layers are hung to dry, either in a smokehouse or by itself. A few days pass, and they are folded into bales, ready for processing.
Creating Synthetic Rubber
The Process of Creating Rubber
The Vulcanization Process
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