Rubber Industries

Rubber has become a material of tremendous economic and strategic importance. In the United States, the per capita consumption of rubber is approximately 16.5 kg; in India it is scarcely 0.22 kg. Transportation, the chemical, electrical, and electronic industries and the space effort are all major consumers of rubber. When supplies of natural rubber were shut off because of Japan’s invasion of rubber producing areas early in World War II, the United States built up a synthetic rubber industry consumed in the United States is of synthetic origin. The rubber industry involves the production of monomers or raw materials for synthetic rubbers, the various rubbers themselves, the importation of natural rubber, the production of rubber chemicals and finally the fabrication of rubber products.
Columbus found the natives of the West Indies playing games with rubber falls. Rubber article have been recovered from the sacred well of the Maya in Yucatan. Rubber, as we know it, is a product of the Americas but has achieved its greatest growth by transplantation to the Far East. The name “rubber” was apparently given by Frestley, the discovered of oxygen, who first observed the ability of the material to “rub out” a pencil mark. Rubberlike material resulted from mere efforts to purity and keep such materials as styrene, butadiene, and the isoprene produced from the destructive distillation of natural rubber; thus early attempts were made to produce synthetic rubber. By the outbreak of World War I, Russia. Extensive research during the 1920 to 1930 period led to discovery of the emulation copolymerization of butadiene and styrene, and of butadiene and acrylonitrile.

Goodyear is eredited with the discovery of the cure, or vulcanization of rubber with sulfur has been found that many substances affect the rate of this reaction and that some subsidiary which is then fixed into its final form by the curing reaction. The historical occurrence of most significance was the curtailment of natural rubber importation caused by Japanese invasions in 1941. This stimulated both research and the manufacture of various synthetic rubber in the years following.

As on the consumption of natural and synthetic rubber in the United States over a 19 year period. It can be clearly seen that synthetic rubber supplies the largest portion of the market although it has not completely supplanted natural rubber. The prices of natural rubber and synthetic rubber have fluctuated over the years because of wars, inflation and other non-natural casues. In 1982 the list price of the most widely used synthetic, SBR, was $1.26 per kilogram, compared with 88 cents per kilogram in 1979. The price of natural rubber has fluctuated widely from 45 cents per kilogram in 1945, to one dollar in 1952, to $ 1.60 in 1980. Although the cost of oil has increased tenfolded, the cost of the synthetic rubber have only increased by a factor of about three.


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