• Question: How is rubber made???

    Asked by lionalmessi to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 29 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 29 Jun 2012:

      This is a good place to look this up: http://www.explainthatstuff.com/rubber.html

      Apparently rubber is made from something called latex, which is the white milky fluid that comes out of some plants when you cut them open. Although a number of different plant species could theoretically be used to make rubber, most of the world’s natural rubber is made from a tree called Hevea brasiliensis. Natural rubber is a chain os isoprene units and has the formula (C5H8)n, meaning that lots of C5H8 units are linked together. They’re joined loosely in tangled chains but can be untangled quite easily which gives the rubber its stretch property, but they also spring back very easily.

      Is that a good starting point?

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 5 Jul 2012:

      I’m glad you could answer this one Blanka – I didn’t know!