In today’s technology rubber is mainly used in various kinds of products. In rubber and rubber parts production comprises 2 steps. First step is the production of rubber itself. And second step is the production of parts from this rubber.
Rubber is obtained from both natural and synthetic sources. The main natural source is the ‘latex’ that is proced from special plants that are grown in tropical regions of World.
The synthetic source of rubber is the petroleum. There are some kinds of processes applied to petroleum to obtain synthetic rubber.
Natural rubber is obtained from special plants grown in tropical places in ‘latex’ form. This latex includes nearly 30% of polyisoprene which is the constituent of natural rubber, colloidal mixture with water. To obtain 100% of natural rubber from latex, there must be some processes and operations applied.
To decompose the natural rubber from the colloidal mixture of latex, the coagulation technique is applied. In this process, latex is diluted with water, then acetic acid or formic acid is added. These acids lead to the formation of coagulate of natural rubber in the form of thin slabs. The coagulation process generally takes around 12 hours.
These thin slabs of natural rubbers are squeezed with rolls to decompose the remaining water. The obtained sheet must be dried in special smokehouses. In these smokehouses, natural rubber slabs are covered with wooden frames to prevent mildew.
This smoke includes creosote which also prevents the natural rubber from oxidation. After several days of smoking and drying process, the produced natural rubber is sent to the manufacturer.
Better grades of natural rubbers can be produced with the application of hot air instead of smoke. And also the much better grade of natural rubbers can be produced with the application of multiple coagulation processes and other additional processes after the air drying processes.
Synthetic rubbers have the biggest market in rubber part manufacturing because of the abundance of the source material to produce synthetic rubbers.
Production of synthetic rubbers depends on the same production characteristics asthermoplastic polymers. But the produced synthetic rubber is supplied to rubber part manufacturers as in the form is large bales.
There are several types of synthetic rubbers are produced and used by manufacturers.
Polychloroprene type of synthetic rubber is generally used in sheet production.
You can find out the mechanical and material properties of another synthetic rubber from this link; Ethylene-Propylene and Isoprene.
Butadiene and buthyl rubbers are also very important synthetic rubbers in the manufacturing market.
As you understand that, synthetic rubber is taking place of the natural rubber with the passing time.
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