How is rubber made?

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Have you ever seen or heard about a rubber plant or rubber tree? Believe it or not, but lots of bouncy, bendy, funny-smelling rubber comes from plants!

Rubber trees grow mostly in hot places like South America, as well as parts of Asia and Africa. When a slit it made in a rubber tree, it oozes out white sap known as latex! This latex sap is the material that many balloons and disposable gloves are made from.

If the sap is not going to be used as latex, then it’s mixed with some other chemicals (like water and acid) to thicken it and turn it into rubber. It’s then dried and formed into sheets or blocks, depending on how it’s going to be used.

Today, not all rubber is made from natural rubber tree sap – some rubber is also made chemically. Can you think of any examples of products that use rubber? Car tires, pencil erasers, the bottoms of shoes, and rubber bands are all good examples!

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Rubber-ific!

    Thousands and thousand of things are made out of rubber! Name as many things as you can that are made from rubber. Why do you think these things are made out of rubber, and not something else like paper or glass?

    Count how many things in the room with you are made out of rubber. How many did you find? Five? Ten? Twenty?!

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