Developed in 1839 by Charles Goodyear, rubber has evolved into an essential resource used in many industries. But what might be a pretty ancient invention isn’t dated — even after centuries. Rubber still finds its share of relevance in manufacturing and businesses.
Rubber can be obtained in two forms: natural and synthetic. Natural rubber led to the manufacturing of hoses, tires, industrial bands, sheets, shoes, shoe soles, and many other products during the industrial revolution. Synthetic rubber finds its uses in the production of tires, clutches, engine bearings, conveyor belts, miscellaneous industrial goods, and even seals for drinking water.
Natural or synthetic rubber continues to be crucial to industries and businesses all over. Here’s how.
Rubber Continues to Evolve With Modern Materials
Innovations in rubber’s features have led to rubber manufacturers making an extended effort to explore improvements in rubber, like fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbons are compounds with carbon-fluoride bonds that can withstand solvents owing to their chemical properties. Some of these properties include non-flammability, thermal and chemical stability, high rates of material compatibility, low surface tension, and low viscosity. These chemical properties make fluorocarbon rubber an outstanding choice for use in various industries, including:
- Chemical process and petroleum refining: used for seals, pumps, gaskets, etc.
- Analysis and process instruments: used for separators, diaphragms, cylindrical fittings, hoops, gaskets, etc.
- Food and pharmaceutical: fluorocarbons have low degradation while in contact with fluids.
The Transportation Boom
Rubber, in many ways, is responsible for the boom of the transportation industry. Specifically, the discovery of the vulcanization of rubber (a chemical process that leads to more robust and durable rubber) changed everything. This brought rubber tires into the mainstream. First, they were used in bicycles, then they were produced for automobiles and airplanes.
Rubber is also incorporated into the construction of roads. When mixed with asphalt, the road surface’s quality increases as the roads become less prone to skidding, reduces the possibility of developing cracks, and makes journeys less turbulent and, therefore, quieter.
Multiple Industries Rely On Rubber
Given the versatility and utility of rubber, multiple industries simply cannot function the same without it. Add to that the resistant properties of fluorocarbons and you have one of the most essential resources. The following are some of the many industries that rely heavily on rubber, along with some of the notable products manufactured out of rubber.
- Auxiliary power units
- Hydraulic actuators
- Aviation, marine and industrial gas turbine engines
- Connectors, pumps, valves and oil reservoirs
- Bleed air valves and fittings
Rubber in the Future
Rubber is unlikely to lose its relevance in the long run. Given our adoration for cars, shoes, toys, and much more, it is here to stay. The utility of rubber will most likely make it much more instrumental to an increasing number of industries in the future.
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