difference between natural and synthetic rubber

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From Wikipedia

Synthetic rubber

Synthetic rubber is any type of artificial elastomer, invariably a polymer. An elastomer is a material with the mechanical (or material) property that it can undergo much more elasticdeformation under stress than most materials and still return to its previous size without permanent deformation. Synthetic rubber serves as a substitute for natural rubber in many cases, especially when improved material properties are required. Nowadays synthetic rubber is used a great deal in printing textile. In this case it is called rubber paste. In most cases titanium dioxide is used with copolymerization and volatile matter in producing such synthetic rubber for textile use. Moreover this kind of preparation can be considered to be the pigment preparation based on titanium dioxide.

Comparison of natural and synthetic rubber

Natural rubber coming from latex is mostly polymerized isoprene with a small percentage of impurities in it. This limits the range of properties available to it. Also, there are limitations on the proportions of cis and transdouble bonds resulting from methods of polymerizing natural latex. This also limits the range of properties available to natural rubber, although addition of sulfur and vulcanization are used to improve the properties.

Synthetic rubber can be made from the polymerization of a variety of monomers including isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene), 1,3-butadiene, chloroprene (2-chloro-1,3-butadiene), and isobutylene (methylpropene) with a small percentage of isoprene for cross-linking. These and other monomers can be mixed in various desirable proportions to be copolymerized for a wide range of physical, mechanical, and chemical properties. The monomers can be produced pure and the addition of impurities or additives can be controlled by design to give optimal properties. Polymerization of pure monomers can be better controlled to give a desired proportion of cis and transdouble bonds.


In 1879, Bouchardt created one form of synthetic rubber, producing a polymer of isoprene in a laboratory.

The expanded use of motor vehicles, and particularly motor vehicle tires, starting in the 1890s, created increased demand for rubber.

In 1909, a team headed by Fritz Hofmann, working at the Bayer laboratory in Elberfeld, Germany, also succeeded in polymerizing methyl isoprene, the first synthetic rubber.

Scientists in England and Germany developed alternative methods for creating isoprene polymers from 1910–1912.

The Russian scientist Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev created the first rubber polymer synthesized from butadiene in 1910. This form of synthetic rubber provided the basis for the first large-scale commercial production, which occurred during World War I as a result of shortages of natural rubber. This early form of synthetic rubber was again replaced with natural rubber after the war ended, but investigations of synthetic rubber continued. Russian American Ivan Ostromislensky did significant early research on synthetic rubber and a couple of monomers in the earlier 1900s.

Political problems that resulted from great fluctuations in the cost of natural rubber led to the enactment of the Stevenson Act in 1921. This act essentially created a cartel which supported rubber prices by regulating production (see OPEC), but insufficient supply, especially due to wartime shortages, also led to a search for alternative forms of synthetic rubber.

By 1925 the price of natural rubber had increased to the point that many companies were exploring methods of producing synthetic rubber to compete with natural rubber. In the United States, the investigation focused on different materials than in Europe, building on the early laboratory work of Nieuwland.

Studies published in 1930 written independently by Lebedev, the American Wallace Carothers and the German scientist Hermann Staudinger led in 1931 to one of the first successful synthetic rubbers, known as neoprene, which was developed at DuPont under the direction of E.K. Bolton. Neoprene is highly resistant to heat and chemicals such as oil and gasoline, and is used in fuel hoses and as an insulating material in machinery.

The company Thiokol applied their name to a competing type of rubber based on ethylene dichloride which was commercially available in 1930.

In 1935, German chemists synthesized the first of a series of synthetic rubbers known as Buna rubbers. These were copolymers, meaning the polymers were made up from two monomers in alternating sequence. The rubber designated GRS (Government Rubber Styrene), a copolymer of butadiene and

Natural rubber

Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer (an elastichydrocarbonpolymer) that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the latex sap collected and refined into a usable rubber. The purified form of natural rubber is the chemical polyisoprene, which can also be produced synthetically. Natural rubber is used extensively in many applications and products, as is synthetic rubber.


The commercial source of natural rubber latex is the para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), a member of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. This is largely because it responds to wounding by producing more latex, also this means that the tree is able to photosynthesise more.

Other plants containing latex include gutta-percha (Palaquium gutta), rubber fig (Ficus elastica), Panama rubber tree (Castilla elastica), spurges (Euphorbiaspp.),lettuce, common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz),Scorzonera (tau-saghyz), andguayule (Parthenium argentatum). Although these have not been major sources of rubber, Germany attempted to use some of these during World War II when it was cut off from rubber supplies. These attempts were later supplanted by the development of synthetic rubbers. To distinguish the tree-obtained version of natural rubber from the synthetic version, the term gum rubber is sometimes used.

Discovery of commercial potential

The para rubber tree initially grew in South America. Charles Marie de La Condamine is credited with introducing samples of rubber to the Académie Royale des Sciences of France in 1736. In 1751, he presented a paper by François Fresneau to the Académie (eventually published in 1755) which described many of the properties of rubber. This has been referred to as the first scientific paper on rubber.

When samples of rubber first arrived in England, it was observed by Joseph Priestley, in 1770, that a piece of the material was extremely good for rubbing off pencil marks on paper, hence the name rubber. Later it slowly made its way around England.

South America remained the main source of the limited amounts of latex rubber that were used during much of the 19th century. In 1876, Henry Wickham gathered thousands of para rubber tree seeds from Brazil, and these were germinated in Kew Gardens, England. The seedlings were then sent to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Indonesia, Singapore and British Malaya. Malaya (now Malaysia) was later to become the biggest producer of rubber. About 100 years ago, the Congo Free State in Africa was also a significant source of natural rubber latex, mostly gathered by forced labour. Liberia and Nigeria also started production of rubber.

In India, commercial cultivation of natural rubber was introduced by the British planters, although the experimental efforts to grow rubber on a commercial scale in India were initiated as early as 1873 at the Botanical Gardens, Calcutta. The first commercial Hevea plantations in India were established at Thattekadu in Kerala in 1902. In the 19th and early 20th century, it was often called "India rubber." Some rubber plantations were also started by the British in Pakistan. In 2010, India's natural rubber consumption stood at 0.978 million tons per year, with production at 0.893 million tons; the rest was imported with an import duty of 20%.


Rubber exhibits unique physical and chemical properties. Rubber's stress-strain behavior exhibits the Mullins effect, the Payne effect, and is often modeled as hyperelastic. Rubber strain crystallizes.

Owing to the presence of a double bond in each repeat unit, natural rubber is sensitive to ozone cracking.


There are two main solvents for rubber: turpentine and naphtha (petroleum). The former has been in use since 1764 when François Fresnau made the discovery. Giovanni Fabronni i

Rubber band

A rubber band (in some regions known as a binder, an elastic or elastic band, a lackey band, laggy band, lacka band or gumband) is a short length of rubber and latex formed in the shape of a loop. Rubber bands are typically used to hold multiple objects together. The rubber band was patented in England on March 17, 1845 by Stephen Perry.


Rubber bands are made by extruding the rubber into a long tube to provide its general shape, putting the tubes on mandrels and curing the rubber with heat, and then slicing it across the width of the tube into little bands.


While other rubber products may use synthetic rubber, rubber bands are primarily manufactured using natural rubber because of its superior elasticity.

Natural rubber originates from the sap of the rubber tree. Natural rubber is made from latex which is acquired by tapping into the bark layers of the rubber tree. Rubber trees belong to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) and live in warm, tropical areas. Once the latex has been “tapped� and is exposed to the air it begins to harden and become elastic, or “rubbery.� Rubber trees only survive in hot, humid climates near the equator and so the majority of latex is produced in the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Rubber Band Sizes


A rubber band has three basic dimensions: length, width, and thickness. (See picture.)

A rubber band's length is half its circumference. Its thickness is the distance from the inner circle to the outer circle.

If one imagines a rubber band in manufacture, that is, a long tube of rubber on a mandrel, before it is sliced into rubber bands, the band's width is how far apart the slices are cut.

Rubber Band Size Numbers

A rubber band is given a [quasi-]standard number based on its dimensions.

Generally, rubber bands are numbered from smallest to largest, width first. Thus, rubber bands numbered 8-19 are all 1/16 inch wide, with length going from 7/8 inch to 3 1/2 inches. Rubber band numbers 30-34 are for width of 1/8 inch, going again from shorter to longer. For even longer bands, the numbering starts over for numbers above 100, again starting at width 1/16 inch.

The origin of these size numbers is not clear and there appears to be some conflict in the "standard" numbers. For example, one distributor has a size 117 being 1/16 inch wide and a size 127 being 1/8 inch wide. However, an OfficeMax size 117 is 1/8 inch wide. A manufacturer has a size 117A (1/16 inch wide) and a 117B (1/8 inch wide). Another distributor calls them 7AA (1/16 inch wide) and 7A (1/8 inch wide) (but labels them as specialty bands).


Temperature affects the elasticity of a rubber band in an unusual way. Heating causes the rubber band to contract, and cooling causes expansion.

An interesting effect of rubber bands in thermodynamics is that stretching a rubber band will produce heat (press it against your lips), while stretching it and then releasing it will lead it to absorb heat, causing its surroundings to become cooler. This phenomenon can be explained with Gibb's Free Energy. Rearranging ΔG=ΔH-TΔS, where G is the free energy, H is the enthalpy, and S is the entropy, we get TΔS=ΔH-ΔG. Since stretching is nonspontaneous, as it requires an external heat, TΔS must be negative. Since T is always positive (it can never reach absolute zero), the ΔS must be negative, implying that the rubber in its natural state is more entangled (fewer microstates) than when it is under tension. Thus, when the tension is removed, the reaction is spontaneous, leading ΔG to be negative. Consequently, the cooling effect must result in a positive ΔG, so ΔS will be positive there.

Red rubber bands

In 2004 in the UK, following complaints from the public about postal carriers causing litter by discarding the rubber bands which they used to keep their mail together, the Royal Mail introduced red bands for their workers to use: it was hoped that, as the bands were easier to spot than the traditional brown ones and since only the Royal Mail used them, employees would see (and feel compelled to pick up) any red bands which they had inadvertently dropped. Currently, some 342 million red bands are used every year.

Model use

Rubber bands have long been one of the methods of powering small free-flight model aeroplanes, the rubber band being anchored at the rear of the fuselage and connected to the propeller at the front. To 'wind up' the 'engine' the propeller is repeatedly turned, twisting the rubber band. When the propeller has had enough turns, the propeller is released and the model launched, the rubber band then turning the propeller rapidly until it has unwound.

One of the earliest to use this method was pioneer aerodynamicistGeorge Cayley, who used them for powering his small experimental models. These 'rubber motors' have also been used for powering small model boats.

Synthetic fiber

Synthetic fibers are the result of extensive research by scientists to improve upon naturally occurring animal and plantfibers. In general, synthetic fibers are created by forcing, usually through extrusion, fiber forming materials through holes (called spinnerets) into the air, forming a thread. Before synthetic fibers were developed, artificially manufactured fibers were made from cellulose, which comes from plants. These fibers are called cellulose fibers.

Synthetic fibers account for about half of all fiber usage, with applications in every field of fiber and textile technology. Although many classes of fiber based on synthetic polymers have been evaluated as potentially valuable commercial products, four of them - nylon, polyester, acrylic and polyolefin - dominate the market. These four account for approximately 98 per cent by volume of synthetic fiber production, with polyester alone accounting for around 60 per cent.


The first artificial fiber, known as artificial silk, became known as viscose around 1894, and finally rayon in 1924. A similar product known as cellulose acetate was discovered in 1865. Rayon and acetate are both artificial fibers, but not truly synthetic, being made from wood. Although these artificial fibers were discovered in the mid-nineteenth century, successful modern manufacture began much later (see the dates below).

Nylon, the first synthetic fiber, made its debut in the United States as a replacement for silk, just in time for World War II rationing. Its novel use as a material for women's stockings overshadowed more practical uses, such as a replacement for the silk in parachutes and other military uses.

Common synthetic fibers include:

Specialty synthetic fibers include:

Other synthetic materials used in fibers include:

Modern fibers that are made from older artificial materials include:

In the horticulture industry synthetics are often used in soils to help the plants grow better. Examples are:

  • expanded polystyrene flakes
  • urea-formaldehyde foam resin
  • polyurethane foam
  • phenolic resin foam

Industry structure

During the last quarter of 20th century, Asian share of global output of synthetic fibers doubled to 65 per cent.

From Encyclopedia

Polymers, Natural Polymers, Natural

The word "polymer" means "many parts" (from the Greek poly, meaning "many," and meros, meaning "parts"). Polymers are giant molecules with molar masses ranging from thousands to millions. Approximately 80 percent of the organic chemical industry is devoted to the production of synthetic polymers, such as plastics, textiles fibers, and synthetic rubbers. A polymer is synthesized by chemically joining together many small molecules into one giant molecule. The small molecules used to synthesize polymers are called monomers. Synthetic polymers can be classified as addition polymers, formed from monomer units directly joined together, or condensation polymers, formed from monomer units combining such that a small molecule, usually water, is produced during each reaction. Polymers are widely found in nature. The human body contains many natural polymers, such as proteins and nucleic acids. Cellulose, another natural polymer, is the main structural component of plants. Most natural polymers are condensation polymers, and in their formation from monomers water is a by-product. Starch is a condensation polymer made up of hundreds of glucose monomers, which split out water molecules as they chemically combine. Starch is a member of the basic food group carbohydrates and is found in cereal grains and potatoes. It is also referred to as a polysaccharide, because it is a polymer of the monosaccharide glucose. Starch molecules include two types of glucose polymers, amylose and amylopectin, the latter being the major starch component in most plants, making up about three-fourths of the total starch in wheat flour. Amylose is a straight chain polymer with an average of about 200 glucose units per molecule. A typical amylopectin molecule has about 1,000 glucose molecules arranged into branched chains with a branch occurring every 24 to 30 glucose units. Complete hydrolysis of amylopectin yields glucose; partial hydrolysis produces mixtures called dextrins, which are used as food additives and in mucilage, paste, and finishes for paper and fabrics. Glycogen is an energy reserve in animals, just as starch is in plants. Glycogen is similar in structure to amylopectin, but in a glycogen molecule a branch is found every 12 glucose units. Glycogen is stored in the liver and skeletal muscle tissues. Cellulose is the most abundant organic compound on Earth, and its purest natural form is cotton. The woody parts of trees, the paper we make from them, and the supporting material in plants and leaves are also mainly cellulose. Like amylose, it is a polymer made from glucose monomers. The difference between cellulose and amylose lies in the bonding between the glucose units. The bonding angles around the oxygen atoms connecting the glucose rings are each 180° in cellulose, and 120° in amylose. This subtle structural difference is the reason we cannot digest cellulose. Human beings do not have the necessary enzymes to break down cellulose to glucose. On the other hand, termites, a few species of cockroaches, and ruminant mammals such as cows, sheep, goats, and camels, are able to digest cellulose. Chitin, a polysaccharide similar to cellulose, is Earth's second most abundant polysaccharide (after cellulose). It is present in the cell walls of fungi and is the fundamental substance in the exoskeletons of crustaceans, insects, and spiders. The structure of chitin is identical to that of cellulose, except for the replacement of the OH group on the C-2 carbon of each of the glucose units with an –NHCOCH3 group. The principal source of chitin is shellfish waste. Commercial uses of chitin waste include the making of edible plastic food wrap and cleaning up of industrial wastewater. All proteins are condensation polymers of amino acids. An immense number of proteins exists in nature. For example, the human body is estimated to have 100,000 different proteins. What is amazing is that all of these proteins are derived from only twenty amino acids. In the condensation reaction whereby two amino acids become linked, one molecule of water forming from the carboxylic acid of one amino acid and the amine group of the other is eliminated. The result is a peptide bond; hence, proteins are polypeptides containing from approximately fifty to thousands of amino acid residues. The primary structure of a protein is the sequence of the amino acid units in the protein. The secondary structure is the shape that the backbone of the molecule (the chain containing peptide bonds) assumes. The two most common secondary structures are the α -helix and the β -pleated sheet. An α -helix is held together by the intramolecular hydrogen bonds that form between the N-H group of one amino acid and the oxygen atom in the third amino acid down the chain from it. The α -helix is the basic structural unit of hair and wool, which are bundles of polypeptides called α -keratins. The helical structure imparts some elasticity to hair and wool. The polypeptides in silk, on the other hand, are β -keratins with the β -sheet structure, in which several protein chains are joined side-to-side by intermolecular hydrogen bonds. The resulting structure is not elastic. Nucleic acids are condensation polymers. Each monomer unit in these polymers is composed of one of two simple sugars, one phosphoric acid group, and one of a group of heterocyclic nitrogen compounds that behave chemically as bases. Nucleic acids are of two types: deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA ), the storehouse of genetic information, and ribonucleic acid (RNA), which transfers genetic information from cell DNA to cytoplasm, where protein synthesis takes place. The monomers used to make DNA and RNA are called nucleotides. DNA nucleotides are made up of a phosphate group, a deoxyribose sugar, and one of four different bases: adenine , cytosine , guanine , or thymine . The nucleotides that polymerize to produce RNA differ from DNA nucleotides in two ways: they contain ribose sugar in place of deoxyribose sugar and uracil instead of thymine. Natural rubber is an addition polymer made up of thousands of isoprene monomer repeating units. It is obtained from the Hevea brasiliensis tree in the form of latex. The difference between natural rubber and another natural polymer, gutta-percha (the material used to cover golf balls), is the geometric form of the polyisoprene molecules. The CH2 groups joined by double bonds in natural rubber are all on the same sides of the double bonds (the cis configuration), whereas those in gutta-percha are on opposite sides of the double bonds (the trans configuration). This single structural difference changes the elasticity of natural rubber to the brittle hardness of gutta-percha. see also Deoxyribonucleic Acid; Nucleic Acids; Polymers, Synthetic; Proteins. Melvin D. Joesten Atkins, Peter W. (1987). Molecules. New York: W. H. Freeman. Joesten, Melvin D., and Wood, James L. (1996). The World of Chemistry, 2nd edition. Fort Worth, TX: Saunders College.

From Yahoo Answers

Question:Please also give me an example of each.

Answers:a natural polymer occurs in nature, like cellulose or starch a synthetic polymer is synthesized in a laboratory, like nylon or polyethylene


Answers:Natural synthetic are obtained from nature, they have less durabality, they are less strong, some times they have to be processed. Artificial synthetic are man and machine made, have have high durability, they are strong, they are already processed while manufacturing and are available in variety of colours...

Question:I'm doing a presentation in Physics on natural rubber and all of its mechanical properties. I really need to find the Young's Modulus for my material... but I can't find it anywhere on the internet! I will be extremely grateful if somebody could help! Thanks!!

Answers:The only data that I can find is: - Rubber (polyisoprene) density 910 kg/m^3 melting point 300 K specific heat capacity 1600 J/kg K Linear expansivity 220 x 10^-6 /K Thermal conductivity 0.15 W/mK Tensile strength 17 MPa Elongation 480 - 510 % Young's modulus 0.02 GPa Science Data Book, Edited by R. M. Tennent, Oliver & Boyd, 1976. '... Latex is a natural polymer of isoprene (most often cis-1,4-polyisoprene) - with a molecular weight of 100,000 to 1,000,000. Typically, a small percent (up to 5% of dry mass) of other materials, such as proteins, fatty acids, resins and inorganic materials (salts) are found in natural rubber. Polyisoprene is also created synthetically, producing what is sometimes referred to as "synthetic natural rubber". ... ( 1 )'

Question:i am making a piece of footwear and i need to make it completely out of natural rubber. so i need a couple different grades of it. but these raw materials are really hard to come by.

Answers:You start with a used car tire, Michelins are good. Chow down. Chew that sucker up real good too. You'll get some sharp pains in your gut, but just fart. When you gotta drop a heata, get the strainer. Hover over the bowl, and hold the strainer under your @$$, and the solid chunks you catch is what you use. YAY!!

From Youtube

Surface Temperatures of Natural and Synthetic Turfgrass Systems in Gainesville, FL :This video was shot on the UF campus on 7/13/10 to demonstrate the difference in surface temperature between a synthetic and natural turf system. In addition, there are photos showing the temperatures of asphalt and concrete on the same day. Ambient air temperature was around 94 degrees.