Most of us are familiar with rubber’s most iconic trait: its elasticity. This important and versatile material is able to bounce back into shape no matter how much it is stretched and twisted. But what causes this elasticity?
The Facts and Chemistry Behind Rubber’s Elasticity
Rubber’s elasticity is due to its chemical makeup. Evaluation of its components shows that rubber consists of long molecules with hydrogen and carbon atoms as their primary building blocks. The length of these molecules enables them to multitask by stretching and then returning to their original shape.
What is Natural Rubber?
Natural rubber is a key component in many materials and products. Without it, numerous industries would be severely lacking the usable material they need. This type of rubber is obtained from the laevorotatory form of isoprene, which is a type of monomer. This monomer is typically derived from plants, making it a sort of renewable resource.
The Benefits of Styrene-Butadiene Rubber
Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) is another important rubber blend used for elasticity and other purposes. This is the material you are most likely to find in items such as tires, shoe soles, and gaskets. It also has a variety of industrial uses.
SBR is especially valued because it provides several distinct benefits, including:
- Durability – it can withstand extreme temperatures and pressure better than other rubber materials.
- Resistance – it is resistant to oil, water, and other fluids, making it ideal for use in damp environments.
- Economical – This is a more economical material, making it ideal for large production runs and other projects with limited budgets.
An Important Component of Almost Every Industry
Rubber’s elasticity is an important part of many materials and products. Without it, the materials and products we rely on daily would not be possible. By understanding the key elements and chemistry behind the elasticity of rubber, we can think of more ways to employ this valuable material.