How to Make Natural Rubber Latex at Home
Rubber is a raw material used in the making of many common flexible items. It is pliable because of its unique chemical composition; it's considered an elastomer. An elastomer is characterized by the ability to regain its original shape after bearing and releasing a load. In nature, the hyper-elasticity of the tree helps it survive.
Rubber has a wide range of industrial uses. It is used to make tyres and household products. It is also used in textile manufacturing.
There are two types of rubber:
- Natural rubber
- Synthetic rubber
In this article, you will learn how to make natural rubber at home. Information about how natural and synthetic rubber differ can be found below the tutorial.
Making Natural Rubber at Home Is Easy
Making natural rubber from latex is surprisingly easy. It can be made by simply mixing the sap from a rubber tree with juice from another plant. The following is a procedure for making natural rubber.
To make rubber at home you need the following things:
- Rubber tree sap, freshly taken from the tree
- Juice from a Morning Glory plant
- A knife
- A tapping spout
- A wooden stick
- A bucket
- A container
How to Make Homemade Natural Rubber Latex
- First, get the sap from the rubber tree. Observe the trunk of the tree and try to find spots with hardened sap.
- Once you have found a spot of hardened sap, slice off the hardened exterior to obtain the soft, liquid sap underneath. Use a knife to slice off the excess layers of hardened sap.
- Make a small hole where you've cut off the rough exterior, using a knife to assist in inserting the tapping spout.
- Hang the bucket on the hook of the tapping spout and leave it in place until you have collected a reasonable amount of sap. If you fail to collect the sap on the first tap, repeat the entire process again.
- Extract the juice from the Morning Glory by simply breaking its vines and drawing the juice out.
- Mix the sap obtained from the tree and the Morning Glory juice.
- Using the wooden stick, stir the mixture. Stir until it becomes thick and sticky.
- The latex is now prepared. Store it in a plastic container.
Once the latex is prepared, it can be used for creating many items. See? It's easy for you to make natural rubber latex. All you need are the Morning Glories and rubber tree in your garden.
What Is Natural Rubber?
Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are responsible for around 72% of all natural rubber production. Natural rubber is made from the sap collected from some trees (commonly rubber plants, Hevea brasiliensis). Chemicals are added to this 'sap', or liquid natural latex, to stiffen the final product. Ficus elastica is a rubber plant more commonly used for natural rubber production in the home.
What Is Synthetic Rubber?
Synthetic rubber is an artificially produced elastomer with the same elasticity as natural rubber.
This synthetic elastomer is a polymer derived from the combination of several monomers. The monomers are formed by reacting petroleum with different chemicals. Some common types of synthetically manufactured rubber are given below:
- BR (butadiene rubber)
- SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber)
- IIR (butyl rubber or halo-butyl rubber)
Natural Rubber vs. Synthetic Rubber
Natural rubber and synthetic rubber cost about the same. They are preferred over one another on the sole basis of characteristics and properties. For example, the ratio of synthetic to natural rubber in car tyres is greater than that of heavy-duty truck tyres because the vehicles experience radically different wear and tear.
Generally, synthetic rubber is used in making hoses, belts, gaskets, moldings and other small parts. Natural rubber is primarily used to make footwear, balloons and toys.
In general, synthetic rubber is preferred over natural rubber due to its extreme durability; however, making natural rubber is much easier than the complex synthesis required to make synthetic rubber.
Creating several monomers to make a polymer of synthetic latex is a grueling process. Natural rubber, on the other hand, can very easily be prepared, even at home.
Easy to synthesize
Complex synthesis for end result
Can make at home
Requires industrial space for synthesis
Now that you can make natural rubber latex at home, get creative! You can make non-slip stickies for kitchen appliances, simple stretchy toys out of molds and letter seals. Post about your elastomeric creations in the comments below!