What is rubber?
Rubbers are loosely described as materials which show “elastic” properties. Such materials are generally long chain molecules known as “polymers” and the combination of elastic and polymers has led to the alternative name of “elastomers”. Rubbers and elastomers will be considered to be synonymous in this work. Products made from rubber have a flexible and stable 3 �” dimensional chemical structure and are able to withstand under force large deformations. For example the material can be stretched repeatedly to at least twice its original length and, upon immediate release of the stress, will return with force to approximately its original length. Under load the product should not show creep or relaxation. Besides these properties the modulus of rubber is from hundred to ten thousand times lower compared to other solid materials like steel, plastics and ceramics. This combination of unique properties gives rubber its specific applications like seals, shock absorbers and tyres.