Rubber is an amazing material with lots of properties that make it incredibly useful and versatile. But what makes it so special? Well, the answer lies in its chemical composition.
The Role of Chemistry
Chemistry is the driving force behind rubber’s unique physical properties. It’s all thanks to the active agents in rubber – the elements that make it so durable and long-lasting. These agents react with other elements in the rubber to create a stable material with a range of uses. Some of the most common active agents used in rubber are silica, carbon black, and zinc oxide.
Silica is one of the most important active agents in rubber. It acts as a reinforcing filler, giving the rubber strength and durability. It also helps to reduce heat build-up, making rubber less prone to cracking.
Carbon black is another active agent found in rubber. It increases the rubber’s resistance to abrasion, making it less likely to be damaged by everyday wear and tear. It also gives the rubber a matte black colour, which can be used for visual purposes.
Zinc oxide is the final important active agent. It helps to protect the rubber from UV rays, keeping it looking good for longer. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, meaning rubber that contains it is less likely to be affected by mould and other bacteria.
The active agents in rubber are essential for its long life and varied uses. From Silica providing strength to Carbon Black giving the material resistance to Zinc Oxide protecting it from UV rays, these elements are integral to the life of rubber.