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The uses of rubber

 

In 1887, rubber seeds which grow naturally in Brazil and South America were shipped to England by a man called Wickham. Two months later, tiny rubber plants grown from these seeds in London's famous Kew Gardens, were dispatched to Sri Lanka and Singapore. There, the plants flourished and so not only was wealth and prosperity brought to Malaysia, for the production of rubber is now Malaysia's greatest industry; but also the world's rubber manufacturers are able to cope with the phenomenal demands for rubber in practically every department of life. Synthetic and man-made rubber, which is now being produced on a a very large scale is helping to cope with these demands and may possibly in the future usurp the position of the world's natural rubber.

Today, rubber is indeed man's versatile servant. It serves you in your home. It is found on your radio and television, on telephones, electric irons, toasters, coffee percolators and sewing machines. It is found in the kitchen for the vacuum cleaner and refrigerator. Where is the house without its electric fan containing rubber or the desk that does not show an eraser, elastic band or vulcanized fountain pen ? There are mattresses made of foam rubber and in colder climates, where is the house without its rubber hot water bottle ? In the garden, rubber has a variety of uses from hose-pipes to footwear. Rice and biscuits -- these on the  surface, would seem to have nothing to do with rubber. But, it is because of rubber that the high polish on grains of rice can be obtained. the machine to polish rice consists of an emery cone and rubber blocks. the rice revolves between these two and it is the combination between rubber and emery board that achieves the polished surface. we often eat biscuits with the 'brand' or maker's name printed on the surface. 'Glaxo' or 'Peakfrean' are examples of this. A printed metal stamp would be impracticable on the sticky surface of the dough of which biscuits are made. It would stick ! Therefore, to stamp the biscuits, a thin sheet of rubber is inserted between the stamp and the dough. thus, the biscuit is stamped through the rubber rather like a carbon copy of a letter. Rubber is used to make our raincoats or mackintoshed as they are called after a Manchester firm 'Machintosh' who, in 1846, bought a patent for vulcanizing rubber, invented by a man called 'Parkes' in Birmingham. Since Christopher Columbus first saw natives of Haiti playing games with balls made from the gum of rubber tree, thousands of different balls from the rubber, beach ball to the golf ball, have been made out. Further a field from home, rubber is used for furniture and gymnastic equipment. In the cinema, it is used for projectors and cinematograph equipment of all kinds. Even down on the farm, it appears in tractor tyres, milking machines and combine harvesters.

Rubber is used when you travel. Pavements and roads are sometimes made of it, as are the steps of buses and trams. There would be little comfort in motor vehicles without the pneumatic tyre first patented by J.B. Dunlop in Belfast, Ireland in 1888.

Nowadays, with the increasing number of cars, pneumatic tyres take 90% of the world's rubber. Rubber bearing springs and rubber sealing systems in rake mechanisms of airplanes, ships and cars add considerably to our comfort.

Rubber is there when illness lands us in hospital. Because it absorbs shock, it is used for sound proof flooring, tyres on wheel chairs and rubber rollers on beds and trolleys. Rubber is water-proof

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 

 

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