Q: What is rubber?
A: Rubber is a polymer with the property of elasticity which, when modified and strengthened by a curing process called vulcanization, is known as a ‘thermoset elastomer’. Each of the monomers which link to form the polymer is usually made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and/or silicon.
Q: How many types of rubber are there?
A: There are two main types of rubber, natural and synthetic. The former is made from the latex derived ‘naturally’ from the rubber tree, while the latter is synthesized from chemicals sourced from petroleum refining.
Q: What are the main uses of rubber today?
A: Almost 60% of global consumption is by the world’s tyre manufacturing industry, with the remainder going into the ‘general rubber products’ sector; many thousands of different goods are manufactured by this sector, serving many industries, including transport, construction, health, mining etc.