There are countless uses of natural rubber; a great many of them go beyond the simple and commonplace uses that we are familiar with, such as for rubber balls, rubber bands, and balloons. While those items can be fun and bring up fond memories, they are far from the most interesting or beneficial uses of the product. Natural rubber can be found in a number of applications spread across many important industries, such as the chemical, transportation, agriculture, and aerospace industries, among many more. Because of the properties of natural rubber, such as its elasticity and pliability, it can fit into a plethora of products. An item such as a natural rubber sheet on its own can be cut and customized into multiple different products, such as a natural rubber gasket or seal which will ensure that mechanical parts are protected and working at full efficiency. While the following list would be nowhere near exhaustive of all of natural rubber’s uses, it will still be able to provide a general overview of the many applications for the product and the many industries which it is found in.
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- Tires: This one is obvious! Today, automobile tires are made up of 50% natural rubber, and tires used for aircraft are made out of 100% natural rubber. The reason for this is that the properties of natural rubber make it optimal for creating “radial” tires, a design which emerged in the 1970’s and is far superior to its predecessor.
16 Uses of Natural Rubber
- Other Automobile Uses: Natural rubber is used to create seals and various forms of padding for a number of automobile parts. For example, it pads the brakes and is in the seals of the windows and windshields.
- Airbags: Rubber is used to produce airbags that protect riders from injury after high-impact accidents have occurred. Hopefully you will never have to see this for yourself, but it is good to know that the protection is there.
- Flooring: Many gyms, commercial kitchens, animal shelters, and even playgrounds are choosing rubber as the material from which to create their flooring. Rubber provides a surface which prevents fatigue, provides padding, and is both slip-resistant and waterproof. It is easy to maintain and is long-lasting, making it an ideal option for flooring for those who are mindful of efficiency and economy.
- Clothing: In its fibrous form, natural rubber forms elastic which is used to produce tight-fitting and expandable clothing such as wetsuits and cycling shorts.
- Natural Rubber Gaskets: Gaskets are used in between two or more mechanical parts, usually to prevent leakage or to fill any sort of irregular space between them. Gaskets are an important part to the performance of any type of machinery.
- Erasers: Joseph Priestly, in 1770, discovered that the product could “rub” away marks made from pencils on paper, thus giving the material its name and sparking the production of erasers.
- Ancient Uses: Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations used rubber to waterproof shoes and to create bottles. Not only that, but it was used to create a ball in a game which is very similar to modern-day basketball, soccer, and football.
- Adhesives and Coatings: In its latex form, rubber can be used as an adhesive or a protective coating for many surfaces.
- Nozzles: What better way to spray rubber latex than through a nozzle that is also made of rubber? Creating nozzles with rubber allows for them to spray more substances and are more durable than other spray nozzles.
- Products Made from a Natural Rubber Sheet: The sheets can be cut and customized into a number of different products. Hoses, belts, and seals are among these products.
- Ducting: Rubber can be turned into a variety of ducting products.
- Rubber Gloves: This has been and perhaps always will be the preferred method of keeping our hands safe and sanitary.
- Anti-vibration: Rubber can be turned into pads or mounts for machinery to ensure that vibration does not affect its performance. It can also be used to produce soundproofing materials.
- Lining: Rubber is an optimal substance for lining bins, chutes, and mixers that are used industrially. Its protective qualities such as being water-proof, resilient, and am insulator make it ideal for these applications.
- Flotation: Rubber produces things such as inner tubes which serve to keep surfaces and even people afloat. Look no further than your local water park for this, but keep in mind that there are commercial uses for inner tubes as well!
This list is merely a short preview into the uses or natural rubber. Because research is always being conducted and technology is always expanding, the uses of this product will increase as well! How could you go about using a natural rubber sheet in your home or place of business? Where in your car or home might you find a natural rubber gasket? If you look around, you’d be surprised! The properties of natural rubber make it an ideal substance for many applications and will continue to do so for years to come. When you are looking for quality, there is no replacement for natural rubber!