The word “ rubber” immediately brings to mind materials that are highly flexible and will snap back to their original shape after being stretched. In this chapter a variety of materials are discussed that possess the characteristics describing this class of materials. Originally rubber meant the gum collected from a tree growing in Brazil The term “ rubber” was coined for this material by the English chemist Joseph Priestley, who noted that it was effective for removing pencil marks from paper. Today, in addition to Priestley’s natural product, many synthetic materials are made that possess these characteristics and many other properties. The common features of these materials are that they are made up of long polymer chains that are amorphous (not crystalline), they have a high degree of flexibility such that they do not stiffen until temperatures well below ambient are reached, and the chains can form a three-dimensional network in some manner.


Natural Rubber Butyl Rubber Natural Rubber Latex Butadiene Rubber Nitrile Rubber 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. C. Bouton
    • 1
  1. 1.Firestone Synthetic Rubber & Latex Co.Division of Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.AkronUSA

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