The Roots of Mixing Rubber


The latex fluid that leaks from rubber trees contains isoprene molecules like many plants and trees. Isoprene, as it dries, bumps into other molecules and reforms with electrons eventually ending up in chain-like strands. Called polyisoprene polymer, the strands cling together much like the opposite poles to magnets. The rubber fibers are held together by the attraction between the strands.

While tough, something does affect these rubber strands- temperature. Heat reduces the attraction creating a stickiness and cold makes the rubber more solid.

To increase durability interested scientists and one inventor named Charles Goodyear, wanted to increase the durability of rubber. Goodyear, in particular, combined rubber with dry powers to reduce stickiness while trying to make it more durable in the early 1800s.

In 1938, he met Nathaniel Hayward who used a process called solarization to mix rubber. Solarization was a combination of mixing sulfur and turpentine with the rubber and allowing the sun to dry it.

After much trial and error using that process, Goodyear eventually mixed latex rubber with lead and sulfur. After a mixture of that fell onto a hot stove, a hard, flexible and durable rubber emerged. This process became known as vulcanization. He also found that changing the amount of sulfur changed the characteristics of rubber.

Those are the roots of the rubber mixing process used today by Goodyear Rubber.

About Goodyear Rubber

Goodyear Rubber manufactures standard and custom rubber for applications for the aerospace, defense, food processing, construction, commercial, automotive, canning, sporting goods, mining and material handling sectors.

Goodyear Rubber takes care of all components of the rubber manufacturing process from design through production. We are ISO 9001:2008 certified and ROHS compliant. Contact us at (909) 987-1774 or for more information on how we can help you.

We are located in Southern California and have been manufacturing rubber components since 1961.

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