THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLASTIC AND RUBBER
In spite of these similarities, the two materials have important differences in the way they are produced, which leads to different final results and, consequently, varied uses that are better suited to one or the other material.
When developing products to satisfy a market, you need to be knowledgeable about the raw materials used in these products in order to make a choice that delivers a high quality result. Thus, it is important to know the differences between plastic and rubber.
As mentioned above, both plastic and rubber are in the polymer family, sharing a similar molecular structure. However, the processes and materials used in their production are very different.
Plastic polymers are generally produced from petroleum derivatives, such as naphtha or even paraffin, with the addition of synthetic elements to create different types of material.
Classified as thermoplastics or thermosets, each type of plastic in these groups has unique characteristics such as density, hardness, moldability, mechanical and chemical resistance indices, degree of transparency etc. What unites them is their superior molding ability and ability to maintain their form after this process.
In addition, materials in the thermoplastic group can be melted at high temperatures and molded into shapes, an important characteristic for recycling processes around the world.
Rubber can either be obtained using natural polymers (such as latex from rubber trees) or a variety of synthetic polymers, and the product must undergo a process known as crosslinking. This bond is usually made by using different chemical agents, which define the characteristics of the final product. It is worth remembering that there are numerous types of rubber, such as the rubber used for tires and hoses, with different mechanical characteristics, chemical states and thermal stabilities.
Among the similarities of the various types of rubber is its ability to stretch and return to its original size without the same pressure, giving it a unique elasticity potential compared to other materials.
With their unique compositions and characteristics, plastic and rubber have become indispensable materials in our production chain, and the development of technology promises to further expand the uses of both polymers.