Natural rubber is made from the sap of a tree, and synthetic rubber is created from chemicals found in petroleum. Rubber trees first originated in South America, and the sap is called latex. The latex oozes from the bark of the rubber tree and can be easily collected to form balls or other objects.
A French explorer named Charles de la Condamine was the first to take latex from Peru and bring it home in 1735. In 1770, a chemist discovered that the latex "rubbed" out pencil marks, and the material was appropriately named rubber. In the 1820s, Thomas Hancock developed a machine that molded scraps of latex into a solid mass. From there, rubber processing developed, and it began to be used to make different products. Scientists discovered that latex could be added to turpentine to create a liquid that waterproofs fabric. In 1832, Charles Macintosh created the first raincoats by layering rubber between two pieces of cloth. Soon after, rubber shoes, elastic bands, hoses and tubes were made. However, it was discovered that these products got stiff in cold weather and sticky in hot weather. When Charles Goodyear developed a way to strengthen rubber and make it less vulnerable to heat and cold, the possibilities of products increased, and rubber became a common material in parts of moving machinery.Learn More
Putting nail polish remover or hand sanitizer on the hair can remove tree sap. After rubbing one of these substances on the affected hair, clean it with soap and water.Full Answer >
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, balls made of elastic materials such as rubber bounce because the material stretches and deforms when they hit a surface and then reform back into their original shapes, which releases energy into a kinetic form, causing the rubber ball to bounce.Full Answer >
Tree sap never form amber because resin is what turns into amber. The terms "resin" and "sap" are sometimes incorrectly used as synonyms. The fossilization process that changes resin to amber takes millions of years.Full Answer >
There are several methods of propagating a rubber tree plant, with air layering being the preferred method. To propagate by air layering, a section of the stem is cut, treated with rooting hormone and wrapped with moss. Rooting takes two to three weeks.Full Answer >