How to Make Rubber at Home
Rubber is a raw material used in most of the flexible items that we use daily or often. It has a peculiar nature because of its unique chemical composition. It is flexible and hyper elastic in nature makes it useful for many purposes.
Rubber has intense usage; it is used to make tires, latex products and household products, and is also used in textile manufacturing.
There are two types of rubber:
- Natural rubber
- Synthetic rubber
Natural rubber is the sap collected from some trees (commonly rubber plants). From this sap latex is extracted from which natural rubber is produced. Rubber is an elastomer.
An elastomer is defined as a polymer having the ability of hyper elasticity that is on straining the polymer, it does not deform. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are responsible for around 72% of all natural rubber production.
Synthetic RubberSynthetic rubber is basically artificial elastomer having the same flexibility and elasticity as that of natural rubber.
The synthetic rubber is a polymer derived from the combination of several monomers. The monomers are formed by reacting petroleum with different sets of chemicals. Some common types of synthetic rubber are given below:
- BR (butadiene rubber)
- SBR (Styrene-butadiene rubber)
- IIR (Butyl rubber -- or halo-butyl rubber
Natural Rubber Vs Synthetic Rubber
Generally natural rubber and synthetic rubber cost about the same amount. They are preferred over one another on the sole basis of characteristics and properties i.e. synthetic rubber is used in the production of car tires while natural rubber is used in the manufacturing of heavy duty truck tires.
On a more general perspective synthetic rubber is mainly used in making hoses, belts, gaskets, tires, mouldings and much other stuff while natural rubber is mostly used to make heavy duty tires, footwear, balloons, toys etc.
In general the synthetic rubber is preferred over the natural rubber due its extreme durability. The synthesis of the natural rubber is much easy and simpler than the synthesis of the synthetic rubber.
The process of creating several monomers to make a polymer of synthetic rubber is a grueling process and requires much effort; therefore the synthetic rubber is prepared in large industries and is not a work of a common man. The natural rubber on the other hand can very easily be prepared, even at home.
Making The Natural Rubber At Home
Making rubber is not only possible but it is also very easy to make rubber at home. Simple mixing of sap from rubber tree and juice from another plant is what it requires. Following is a procedure for making natural rubber:
To make rubber at home, you would need following things:
- Rubber tree sap, freshly taken from the tree.
- Juice taken from the morning glory plant.
- A knife
- A tapping spout
- A wooden stick
- A bucket
- And a container
Method For Preparation:
- You would need to get the sap from the rubber tree first. For that, observe the trunk of the tree and try to find spots with the hardened rubber.
- Once you have found a spot of hardened rubber, you would have to slice off the hard rubber to obtain the sap. Using a knife slice off the excess layers of rubber.
- Now from where you have sliced off the rubber, make a small hole using a knife and insert the tapping spout.
- Now collect a reasonable amount of the sap using a bucket. Hang the bucket on the hook of the tapping spout. If you fail to collect the sap first, repeat the entire process again.
- Now you need to take out the juice from the morning glory. To extract their juice, simply break their vines and draw out the juice.
- Now 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. It becomes easy for you to prepare latex any time if you have a rubber tree and morning glories in your garden.