Properties of Natural & Synthetic Rubber

Whether natural or synthetic, rubber has many applications.
••• rubber image by vashistha pathak from

Both natural and synthetic rubber are used in the production of a range of products from tires to footballs to the soles of sneakers. Most natural rubber is produced from a softwood tree native to Brazil, though several other species of trees and shrubs are sources of rubber as well. Synthetic rubber is produced artificially from polymers in different varieties to mimic the different properties of natural rubber.

Natural Rubber

Natural rubber has a high tensile strength and is resistant to fatigue from wear such as chipping, cutting or tearing. On the other hand, natural rubber has only moderate resistance to damage from exposure to heat, light and the ozone in the air. Natural rubber also has tack, which means it can adhere to itself as well as other materials. It adheres particularly well to steel cord, which makes it an excellent material for use in tires.

Synthetic Rubber

In general, synthetic rubber offers better resistance to abrasion than natural rubber, as well as superior resistance to heat and the effects of aging. Many types of synthetic rubber are flame-resistant, so it can be used as insulation for electrical devices. It also remains flexible at low temperatures and is resistant to grease and oil.

Natural vs. Synthetic Rubber

Overall, the combined properties of natural rubber outweigh synthetic rubbers or combinations of synthetic rubbers available. However, synthetic rubber is advantageous because it is easier to produce. Natural rubber is a crop able to grow only in tropical climates and it doesn't age well, so for many countries it is easier to use synthetic rubber.. Synthetics may also be more useful in certain applications because of their resistance to extreme temperatures and corrosive environments.

Related Articles

Does Neoprene Stretch?
Neoprene Vs. Natural Rubber
EPDM Washer vs. Nitrile Rubber Washer
Uses of PVC Plastic
Difference Between Polystyrene & Polyurethane
How Do Certain Fabrics Hold Warmth?
Latex Specifications and Properties
Difference Between 316 & 308 Stainless Steel
Things Made From Recycled Plastic
How to Harden Rubber
How to Shrink Rubber Bands
What Is Kamani Wood?
Does Oil Dissolve Rubber Gloves?
Properties of Kerosene
Quick Facts on Rubber
Are Latex & Plastic the Same?
What Is a Ferrite Clamp?
Copper Wire Advantages & Disadvantages
Differences Between Natural & Man-Made Materials
How to Weld Inconel

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!