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Amazing Facts about Rubber

As a commonly used material, rubber is found in a whole host of everyday items, such as tyres, footwear, hoses, seals, erasers and elastic bands, to name just a few. However, there's more to this stretchy material than meets the eye. Here are some fascinating facts about rubber.

Shocked Face

© Prostock-studio / Adobe Stock


  1. Natural rubber comes from the sap of the Hevea Brasiliensis tree. It takes six years before trees can produce sap - they are then productive for around 28 years. A typical tree can produce 19 pounds of rubber each year.


  1. The first people to use rubber were the natives of Central America. They made rubber balls and boots around 1600 BC. Christopher Columbus first witnessed natives in Haiti playing with a rubber ball in 1495.


  1. Rubber used to erase marks came about by accident. During the late 18th century, Englishman Edward Nairne accidentally picked up a cube of sap to erase a pencil mark instead of a breadcrumb and noticed that the rubber sap worked better.


  1. The first forms of rubber had limitations and weren't strong enough to stand up to temperature fluctuations. Charles Goodyear invented a process called vulcanisation, which involved adding sulphur to the latex mix, to make it stronger and more reliable. He stumbled upon this invention by accident.


  1. The word rubber has been used to refer to a wide range of items long before its well-known use today. A hard brush, tooth powder, towel and polished brick have all gone by the name of a rubber in times gone by.


  1. Rubber has also been called other names by other cultures. The Mayans referred to rubber as kik, which meant blood, while natives of Mexico called it olli or castilloa, and West Africans named it funtumia elastica.


  1. Natural rubber from tree sap only accounts for 40% of rubber produced today. Although rubber first came from South America, 94% of the world's natural rubber now comes from plantations in South-East Asia.


  1. The rubber tree isn't the only plant to produce latex sap. Dandelions, for example, have been found to emit this sticky substance and are currently being considered as an alternative, sustainable source for rubber production.


  1. Most rubber products today are made from manmade rubber using chemicals. Producing garters and suspenders, the first rubber factory was established in 1803 in Paris.


  1. The tyre manufacturing industry is one of the biggest consumers of rubber today. Rubber latex is actually white, but a black carbon filler is added to tyres to give them their dark colour. This makes the tyres stronger.


  1. The first rubber band was invented by Englishman Stephen Perry in 1845 - they continue to enjoy popular use today. Rubber bands have even been used to break records, with the largest rubber band ball consisting of more than 175,000 bands and weighing a whopping 4,594 pounds.


  1. Statistics reveal that around 33 billion pounds of rubber are produced each year, of which about two-thirds are synthetic rubber. More than 40,000 everyday items are made from rubber.


  1. Rubber boasts many virtues: it is extremely versatile, eco-friendly and easily recyclable. Recycled rubber from old tyres has been used to make new roads and as an alternative form of fuel. It has even assisted in the construction of new homes!


As such an amazing product, with great versatility, if you require a wide range of high-quality rubber products, take a look at what Coruba has to offer.

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