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Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing Process

As the number one alternative to natural rubber products, the synthetic rubber product’s industry is booming and this trend is expected to continue up until 2023. So, if natural rubber is sourced from trees, where does synthetic rubber come from?

1. To begin, a mixture of different hydrocarbons like oil and coal should be created and then refined. One of the by-products, Naphtha, is a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture that is used for manufacturing gasoline and plastics.

2. Naphtha is then combined with natural gases to produce monomers.  A monomer is used to bind molecules together to create polymers.

3. The chemicals will be bonded together by monomers to create polymers. Common monomers that are used for synthetic rubbers are Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR), Nitrile Rubber (NBR) and Butyl Rubber (IIR).

4. Chemical agents are used to form chains of polymers to form rubber substances.

5. Rubber substances will then undergo vulcanisation to process them into rubber products. Vulcanisation is the process in which polymers are converted into a more durable material by adding sulphur or other accelerators.

That’s how generic synthetic rubbers are produced. Synthetic rubber is commonly used to produce products like rubber matting, rubber gaskets, door mats and more. Even though they are synthetic, these products are as reliable as their natural rubber counterparts.

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