Discovery of Rubber

Image
02

First use of Rubber

The Indians of Central and South America were the first to utilize rubber's unique properties. Christopher Columbus watched them play a game, a cross between basketball and football, with the object of directing a rubber ball through a stone ring. These high bouncing balls were made from a milky fluid, which the natives harvested by tapping certain trees and then cured over the smoke of palm nuts. Image Courtesy: www.uyirmmai.com

01
First use of Rubber
02

Early shoes of rubber

In 1736, a French astronomer sent by the government to Peru brought home samples of the milky fluid and reported that the Indians used it for lighting. He wrote that it burned without a wick very brightly and that the Indians made shoes from it which was waterproof. About the year 1820, an American merchant, sailing between Brazil and New England, exhibited a pair of native shoes made from rubber. There was a demand and in a few years half a million pairs were being imported annually. Image Courtesy: tradekorea.com

01
Early shoes of rubber
02

Making finished products

European vessels had also carried rubber home and experiments were being made with it in France and Britain. A Frenchman manufactured suspenders by cutting a native bottle into fine threads and running them through a narrow cloth. Macintosh, a chemist of Glasgow, inserted rubber treated with naphtha between thin pieces of cloth and evolved the garment made of rubber. Image Courtesy: accident-web.comrubber_coating_jk_01

01
Making finished products
02

Deriving the name - RUBBER

In England, Joseph Priestley, also known for his discovery of oxygen, noted that pencil marks could be "rubbed out" by the substance. From this early use, rubber derived its name. Image Courtesy: 2.bp.blogspot.com

01
Deriving the name - RUBBER
02

Industrial use

There was a demand for the finished articles. In Roxbury, Massachusetts, a firm manufacturing patent leather treated raw rubber, turpentine and lampblack and spread it on cloth, in an effort to produce waterproof leather. The process appeared to be a complete success, and a large capital was employed to make handsome shoes and clothing out of the new product. Merchants throughout the country placed orders for these goods. Image Courtesy: topnews.in

01
Industrial use
02

Properties of natural rubber

No one knew at that time that the properties of rubber were dictated by the surrounding temperature. During the hot summer, rubber was sticky and malleable, while it became hard and brittle in the colder months. All the finished materials were returned and the company incurred losses. Image Courtesy: iti.com

01
Properties of natural rubber
02

Vulcanization

The discovery of the process of vulcanization made rubber as we see it today. A mixture of rubber, white lead and sulphur was dropped accidentally upon a hot stove. When it was removed, the material was no longer affected by temperature. Despite stretching, it always returned to its original shape. This process of vulcanization made it possible to use rubber in raincoats, overshoes, and eventually many other products, including tires. Image Courtesy: www.web-books.com

01
Vulcanization
02

Types of Rubber

The two types of rubber are used today - natural and synthetic. Natural rubber comes from the rubber tree. When a tree matures at the age of six or seven years, the latex is collected from a diagonal incision in the tree trunk. The tapping process does not affect the health of the tree and the tree wound heals itself. Synthetic rubber is made from petrochemical feed stocks. Crude oil is the principal raw material. Image Courtesy: bikeadvice.s3.amazonaws.com

01
Types of Rubber
02

Ratio of natural & synthetic rubber used

Today more than 90% of the natural rubber supply comes from Southeast Asia. As rubber trees require a hot, damp climate, they grow only in the 'Rubber Belt,' an equatorial zone that stretches around the world. But approximately 70% of all rubber used in products is synthetic. Image Courtesy: www.bibliotecapleyades.net

01
Ratio of natural & synthetic rubber used
02

How it is used

There is only one chemical type of natural rubber. However, there are approximately twenty different chemical types of synthetic rubber. The different types of rubber, each with its own properties and advantages, allow industry to choose the rubber that most clearly meets the demands of an intended use. Image Courtesy: www.navdeepakcorp.com

01
How it is used
Share facebook twitter gplus

Related Slideshows