The uses of rubber are manyfold. Although we don’t always see it, rubber is everywhere—on floors, shoes, vehicles, and more. Rubber roll manufacturers fabricate rolls of rubber to meet the needs of many industries and have become one of the world’s most useful materials in countless applications. If you are wondering, “what is rubber used for?” take a moment to look around—chances are, you’re using rubber in some capacity.
What Is the Common Use for Rubber Today?
The common use for rubber today is in things like car tires, shoe soles, and gym floors. However, note that these aren’t the only common uses of rubber. Some of rubber’s applications are more obvious, such as rubber’s use in creating car tires. Others aren’t so readily identifiable, like rubber’s use in making children’s toys. Nonetheless, one thing is clear: Rubber is incredibly versatile—infinitely useful. To prove this point, below, we’ve compiled a list of 49 uses of rubber:
1. Shoe soles: Molded rubber is commonly found on most people’s daily footwear. Lift up your own feet—rubber is probably there!
2. Basement flooring: Rubber is naturally water-resistant, so it’s a great material for basement flooring. Basement floods and leaks won’t be as burdensome as before.
3. Sound studios: Some types of rubber products are designed to reduce noise. Sound studios often employ certain rubber materials to reduce the amount of noise generated beyond the studio, as well as enhance the quality of the audio being produced.
4. Car bumpers: Rubber’s elasticity makes it an excellent material for car bumpers. They aren’t sometimes known as “bump stop rubbers” for nothing!
5. Cushion pads: Because rubber is an elastomer, it works well as an underfoot cushion. Cushion pads made of rubber reduce the likelihood that you’ll become overly fatigued from prolonged standing.
6. Drum pads: Because rubber elongates in reaction to force, thin rubber sheets are great drum pads.
7. Window wipers: Rubber is resilient, soft, and water-resistant, which makes it a great material for window wipers.
8. Car tires: What is the common use for rubber today? Rubber’s most common use is for car tires. Rubber has all the properties that define good car tires: durability, resilience, water-resistance, shock-absorption, abrasion-resistance, and chemical-resistance. It’s clear that rubber is the best material for making tires.
9. Fire hoses: The interiors of fire hoses typically experience tremendous amounts of pressure. Rubber’s elasticity makes it the preferred material for fire hoses because rubber can expand in response to the pressure of flowing water.
10. Electrical wiring: Rubber is an insulator, which means that it does not conduct electricity. Thus, electrical wiring uses rubber as a barrier to protect itself, as well as the surrounding environment, from electrical misadventures.
11. Rubber bands: Ever shoot a rubber band out of your hand? Rubber’s elasticity is what makes this possible, and it’s this elasticity that makes rubber bands as useful as they are.
12. Rubber ducks: Rubber is water-resistant, so it makes sense that rubber ducks are almost always made of rubber.
13. Latex gloves: Rubber is used for disposable gloves because of its elasticity, resilience, and affordability.
14. Cooking utensils: Many gastronomical tools are made of rubber, such as cookie cutters, spatulas, and spoons. This category of items alone could constitute its own list of the uses of rubber. We’ll save that for another time.
15. Rainboots: Again, rubber is naturally water-resistant, so the fact that they are used for rainboots isn’t surprising.
16. Teething toys: Since rubber is elastic yet durable, it’s a perfect material for teething toys—whether these toys are for a dog or an infant.
17. Bicycle Tires: Rubber is the preferred car-tire material, so it shouldn’t shock you that it’s also the preferred bicycle-tire material.
18. Watches: Nowadays, rubber watchstraps are becoming increasing popular. It’s a comfortable material to wear, and—in some cases—it can complement your overall appearance, depending on your style.
19. Jars: Rubber lids are something we’ve all seen. Because rubber is elastic, it works well as a way of sealing jars.
20. Gaskets: Rubber is the main material in gaskets because rubber’s elasticity ensures that harmful chemicals will not leak beyond your car’s pipes, even when strained under large amounts of pressure.
21. Hair ties: Like why rubber is used in rubber bands, rubber’s elasticity makes one of the preferred materials for hair ties.
22. Flip-flops: Like how most shoe soles are made from rubber, many flip-flops are made from rubber, too.
23. Phone cases: Rubber is among the most popular materials for phone cases because it’s shock-absorbent, durable, and water-resistant.
24. Medicine balls: When compacted, rubber can actually be pretty heavy. This makes it a great material for medicine balls since these balls need to be heavy enough to service a workout, while still being soft enough to be tossed and dropped without worry.
25. Bouncy balls: Almost all bouncy balls are made from rubber. It’s elastic, so it tends to bounce when it’s molded in certain ways—especially in the form of a small ball.
26. Cameras: Like how rubber works as an airtight seal in other applications, rubber protects the chambers separating a camera’s lenses from the intrusion of unwanted particulates.
27. Refrigerator door seals: Often used as a material for lining a refrigerator’s doors, rubber’s protective qualities are ideal for a refrigerator door’s seal.
28. Airplane cabins: Rubber is typically used in a plane cabin’s seals, minimizing the amount of air the leaks out of the plane.
29. Trampolines: Trampolines use rubber’s elasticity to propel people into the air.
30. Pacifiers: Rubber is chewy. That is, it’s elastic, and it’s resistant to tearing—making it great for an infant’s pacifier.
31. Window seals: People often use rubber window-seals to prevent air from traveling through the crevices lining their windows.
32. Halloween masks: Many Halloween masks are made from rubber since rubber, produced a certain way, can be lightweight—easy to wear through a harrowing night in your neighborhood.
33. Garden hoses: Like how fire hoses are made of rubber, garden hoses are made from this material, too.
34. Playgrounds: Rubber absorbs shock and enhances traction. These two factors are the central reasons for why rubber is the preferred material for a playground’s surface. You can call it soft rubber, a non-slip rubber sheet, or a waterproof rubber sheet—either way, it’s safe playground flooring!
35. Street sweepers: Rubber is durable, elastic, and water-resistant, making it a top choice for street sweeping applications.
36. Erasers: Erasers are made of rubber since rubber effectively ‘absorbs’ lead shavings off of paper.
37. Door mats: Many door mats are made from rubber since rubber is durable and water-resistant. These door mats are often corrugated, and it’s these corrugations that scrape unwanted debris off of shoe bottoms. A rubber door mat may also come in the form of a perforated rubber sheet. Either way, rubber sheet matting works great for covering entryways.
38. Yoga mats: Rubber cushions the body, so it is the preferred material for yoga mats.
39. Table tennis rackets: Because rubber enhances traction, rubber lining is a great addition to racket handles—ensuring that players don’t lose their rackets mid-swing.
40. Braces: We’re talking about teeth braces here. Small, tight rubber bands are used for securing brace wiring since rubber is elastic and water-resistant.
41. Horse stall mats: Rubber works great as horse-stall matting because rubber cushions the horse’s hooves and because rubber is easy to clean.
42. O-ring: This mechanical gasket is commonly made from rubber. It can be found within vacuums or rotating pump shafts.
43 Conveyor belts: Rubber’s flexibility and its naturally high coefficient of friction make it the ideal material for a conveyer belt, sometimes called a “conveyer rubber sheet.”
44. Umbrellas: Umbrella handles are sometimes covered with rubber to reduce the chance that something like a strong gust will send the umbrella flying from the user’s hand.
45. Ducting: Thermoplastic rubber is a common rubber material used for ducting—especially when it comes to temperature-sensitive applications.
46. Printing presses: Printing presses use rubber rollers to transfer ink between their parts.
47. Stamps: Stamps—the ones that elementary teachers wield—are made from rubber.
48. Pet care flooring: Rubber sheet rolls protect your home’s underlying surfaces from your pet’s claws, and they protect your pet’s sensitive paws from hard surfaces.
49. Balloons: Balloons are often made of rubber since rubber is extremely elastic.
What Uses the Most Rubber in the World?
The automotive industry is what uses the most rubber in the world. This industry has been the largest driving force behind rubber’s growth, with its perpetual need for rubber parts, like tires, gaskets, and interior-trims. The 21st century continues to see rubber’s proliferation, especially alongside technology’s takeover. But, because rubber eventually wears, we must ultimately discard our rubber products—especially car tires—for replacements. The problem with this, though, is that many of our rubber products are infused with synthetic rubbers, and synthetic rubbers are non-biodegradable. Confronted with this issue, the logical follow-up is this: What is another use of rubber?
What Is Another Use of Rubber?
Another use of rubber is in tire-derived products (TDPs). Tire-derived products are products which are made from discarded car tires. By using recycled and reclaimed rubber as the raw material for their rubber sheet goods, rubber sheet manufacturers are combatting environmental waste, as well as making rubber products more affordable.
There are many uses of rubber. Some are plain, others are inconspicuous. As you can see, the uses of rubber are endless with the many advantageous qualities that rubber inherently has. So, to answer your question “what is the common use for rubber today?”—rubber materials are all around us, even on our bodies. Although we can sometimes forget this, it takes little effort to realize how much rubber we use on a daily basis. Sheet rubber suppliers produce a variety of rubber items to accommodate the world’s rubber-related demands. With such a large range of applications, rubber has proven time and time again that it is an invaluable commodity. Whether using thin rubber sheets on drum pads or a rubber material for a firefighter’s hose, we hope this article has helped you see how many uses of rubber there really are. With rubber, the possibilities are limitless.