Rubber is naturally produced from latex, which occurs in certain plants or is synthetically produced in factories from petrochemical raw materials. Both naturally produced latex and synthetic rubber is vulcanized with the addition of sulphur and a process of heating, which changes the chemical structure of the latex, making it stronger, harder and longer lasting.
The elasticity of rubber is its most well known characteristic, which causes it to return to it’s original shape after stretching or compressing. The primary application of rubber is the production of tires for the automobile industry, but other uses include wetsuits, hosepipes, waterproofing and adhesives. This sticky, fibrous material is well suited to waterjet cutting.