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General and Process
  • Any artificially produced substance that resembles natural rubber in essential chemical and physical properties may be called synthetic rubber. Such substances, also called elastomers, are produced by chemical reactions, known as condensation or polymerization, of certain unsaturated hydrocarbons. The basic materials of synthetic rubber are monomers: compounds of relatively low molecular weight that form the building units of huge molecules called polymers. After fabrication, the synthetic rubber is cured by vulcanization
  • Synthetic rubber can be made from the polymerization of a variety of monomers including isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene), 1,3-butadiene, chloroprene (2-chloro-1,3-butadiene), and isobutylene (methylpropene) with a small percentage of isoprene for cross-linking. Furthermore, these and other monomers can be mixed in various desirable proportions to be copolymerized for a wide range of physical, mechanical, and chemical properties. The monomers can be produced pure and addition of impurities or additives can be controlled by design to give optimal properties. Polymerization of pure monomers can be better controlled to give a desired proportion of cis and trans double bonds.


  • The use of rubber is widespread, as the characteristics and properties of elastomers make them useful in almost all economic sectors: automobiles, footwear, civil construction, plastics, hospital materials and others that are of crucial importance in the daily life of society. As they are most widely used to produce tires, the SBR and BR varieties are the most widely consumed type of synthetic rubber.
  • For the production of compounds for cables, seals, and other elastic parts, rubber powders with different particle size distributions are used.  The disc mills, type PKM and the Turbo Mills, type PP meet the requirements of this application.


  • Synthetic rubber production is a mature industry in the United States that faces numerous challenges for the future. Because of global overproduction capacity and a strong U.S. dollar, domestic manufactures must struggle to compete with cheaper overseas imports. Europe, in particular, leads the United States in technological advances in synthetic rubber processing, and Asia has greatly expanded production capabilities in recent years. 
  • While Asia accounted for the majority of rubber producing nations, Japan, North America, and Europe accounted for more than half of the world's total consumption of rubber.
  • The rubber industry group forecasts a moderate 1.6% annual growth rate for synthetic rubber through 2007, with 1.3% growth for SBR, 2.2% for polybutadiene, and 2.9% for EPDM.

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