How Rubber Works
"I'm rubber, and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you." Although you probably remember this saying from when you were a smart-alecky kid, it's an apt description for the substance we know as rubber.
Rubber is a specific type of polymer called an
: a large molecule that can be stretched to at least twice its original length and returned to its original shape.
Since that time, rubber has become an important natural polymer in society.
In this article, we'll look at the chemistry of this stretchy substance, where and how it's produced, and what Charles Goodyear's remarkable discovery was. We'll also look at the different types of rubber, some of your favorite products made from it and the industry responsible for producing it.