What do we use rubber for?

What a material can be used for is determined by its chemical and physical properties. Just by looking at rubber, you can probably make some very good guesses about what applications it could be used for. It is clear that rubber is tough, stretchy, flexible and waterproof. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that rubber is used for waterproof shoes and clothing and adhesives.

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Most of the rubber we see on a daily basis is in vehicle tyres. Did you know that almost 50% of the world’s rubber is used on vehicles? Rubber is used in all parts of a tyre – the tougher outside rims, the inner tubes and in the liners. To keep a tyre inflated, the inner part is made from a different type of rubber that is very impermeable to gases and traps them effectively.

As rubber can be made to be soft or hard, this vastly increases the number of products that can be made. Think of all the different types of rubber. Soft rubber is found in balloons and protective gloves, for example, while hard rubber is used for tougher environments such as in roofing and boats. For Rubber Mouldings, visit a site like Meadex

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The properties of rubber make it useful for other applications too. Rubber doesn’t conduct heat or electricity well, so it is the perfect choice for coating electrical cables and heating pipes, for example.

As there is so much rubber in our daily lives, there is also a lot of rubber waste. The reusing of rubber is now important as manufacturers look for ways to recycle, such as turning old tyres into bags, mouse mats or shoe soles, for example.

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