Rubber is made from the natural substance latex, which is naturally present in some plants or is synthetically made in factories from petrochemical raw materials. Both natural latex and synthetic rubber are vulcanised with the addition of sulphur and a heating process that changes the chemical structure of the latex to make it stronger, harder and more durable.
Properties and applications of rubber
The elasticity of rubber is the best known feature. This ensures that it returns to its original shape after it has been stretched or compressed. The main application of rubber is tyre production in the automotive industry, but also diving suits, hoses, adhesives and waterproof materials are made from it. This sticky, fibrous material is excellent for waterjet cutting.