The history of rubber

The history of rubber

Rubber is also called India rubberlatexAmazonian rubbercaucho or caoutchouc, as initially produced, consists of polymers of the organic compound isoprene, with minor impurities of other organic compounds, plus water. Thailand and Indonesia are two of the leading rubber producers. Types of polyisoprene that are used as natural rubbers are classified as elastomers.

Currently, rubber is harvested mainly in the form of the latex from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) or others. The latex is a sticky, milky and white colloid drawn off by making incisions in the bark and collecting the fluid in vessels in a process called “tapping”. The latex then is refined into rubber that is ready for commercial processing. In major areas, latex is allowed to coagulate in the collection cup. The coagulated lumps are collected and processed into dry forms for sale.

Natural rubber is used extensively in many applications and products, either alone or in combination with other materials. In most of its useful forms, it has a large stretch ratio and high resilience, and also is water-proof.

Rubber is one of the most important products to come out of the rainforest. Though indigenous rainforest dwellers of South America have been using rubber for generations, it was not until 1839 that rubber had its first practical application in the industrial world. In that year, Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped rubber and sulfur on a hot stovetop, causing it to char like leather yet remain plastic and elastic. Vulcanization, a refined version of this process, transformed the white sap from the bark of the Hevea tree into an essential product for the industrial age.

In 1493, Spanish explorer Columbus led his team to the South American continent for the first time. Here, the Spaniards saw Indian children and young people playing a game, singing a song to throw a kind of small ball to each other, this kind of ball can rebound very high after landing, if pinched in the hand, it will feel sticky , And has a smoky smell.

The Spaniards also saw that the Indians applied some thick white liquid on their clothes, which is impervious to rain on rainy days; they also applied this thick white liquid on their feet so that the water will not wet their feet on rainy days . As a result, the Spaniards initially understood the elasticity and water resistance of rubber, but did not really understand the source of rubber.

In 1693, French scientist Lacan visited South America and saw the indigenous people play this kind of ball. Scientists and soldiers have different thinking and vision. After investigating this kind of ball, they found out that this kind of ball is a kind of chopping. It is made from a thick liquid that flows out of a tree called “rubber” by the Indians.

In 1736, the French scientist brought back detailed information about rubber trees from Peru and published “Travel Notes in the Inland of South America”. The book detailed the origin of rubber trees, the methods of collecting latex, and the utilization of rubber, which aroused people’s concerns. Pay attention.

In 1763, the French Mecca invented a solvent that can soften rubber.

In 1770, British chemist Priestler discovered that rubber could erase pencil writing.

In 1823, the British Makintosh applied a thick white rubber liquid to the cloth like an Indian to make a rainproof cloth, and sewed the “Makintosh” waterproof cape, which was the prototype of a modern raincoat.

In 1852, the American chemist Gu Teyi accidentally threw a jar containing rubber and sulfur on the fire during an experiment. The rubber and sulfur flowed together after being heated to form a lump rubber, thus inventing rubber vulcanization. law.

This accidental act of Gu Teyi is a major invention in the rubber manufacturing industry. It removes a major obstacle in the application of rubber and makes rubber a formal industrial raw material from then on, which also makes many rubber-related industries. Flourishing has become possible. Subsequently, Gu Teyi made the world’s first pair of rubber waterproof shoes with vulcanized rubber.

In 1876, the British Wickham died nine times. He collected 70,000 rubber seeds from the tropical jungles of the Amazon River and sent them to the Royal Kew Botanical Garden in London, England for cultivation. Then, the rubber seedlings were shipped to Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indo-West Asia and other places for planting and succeeded.

In 1888, the British Deng Lu changed the invention of automobile tires.

In 1895, the production of automobiles began. The rise of the automobile industry aroused the huge demand for rubber, and the price of rubber soared.

In 1897, Huang Dele, director of the Singapore Botanic Garden, invented the continuous tapping method of rubber trees, which greatly increased the output of rubber. As a result, the wild rubber tree has become an important economic crop cultivated in a large area.

In 1904, Dao Anren, the chieftain of the Dai ethnic group in Ganya (now Yingjiang County), Yunnan, China, purchased 8,000 rubber seedlings from Singapore and brought them back to China to plant in Phoenix Mountain, a new city in Yingjiang County, Yunnan Province at 24°N latitude. There is only one left. From 1906 to 1907, Hainan Qionghai patriotic overseas Chinese He Shulin imported 4000 rubber seeds from Malaysia and planted them in Hui County (now Qionghai City) and Dan County. In 1915, the Dutchman Heltun invented the rubber bud grafting method in the Bogor Botanical Garden in Java, Indonesia, so that excellent rubber tree clones can be multiplied and promoted.

In 2003, the world’s natural rubber production was 7,535,700 tons. The top five rubber producing countries in the world are Thailand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and China. The total rubber output of the five countries is 6,292,500 tons, accounting for 83.5% of the total global rubber output. In the late 1950s, the American Philips company successfully developed solution polymerized styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) using lithium-initiated anionic polymerization, and realized industrial production in 1964.

The industrial production of SSBR usually uses alkyl lithium, mainly butyl lithium as the initiator, alkanes or cycloalkanes as the solvent, alcohols as the terminator, and tetrahydrofuran as the randomizer. However, due to the poor processing performance of SSBR, its application has not been developed rapidly.

In the late 1970s, the requirements for tires became higher and higher, and higher requirements were put forward on the structure and performance of rubber. Together with the progress of polymerization technology, SSBR developed rapidly.

In the early 1980s, Dunlop in the United Kingdom and Shell in the Netherlands jointly developed a new low rolling resistance SSBR product through polymer design technology. Dutch Shell Company and Logan Tire Company jointly developed new SSBR products, Japan Synthetic Rubber Company and Bridgestone Company jointly developed new tin-coupled SSBR and other second-generation SSBR products, which marked the entry of SSBR production technology a new stage

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