Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), often known as thermoplastic rubbers, are a type of copolymer or a physical combination of polymers (typically plastic and rubber) that have both thermoplastic and elastic qualities. The term "elastomer" is usually applied to materials which can be stretched before being relaxed again, while the term "thermoplast" refers to a material which will remain in a plastically deformed state even if cooled below its melting point.
Generally, TPEs are composed of two components: one is a hard phase that acts as a filler for the matrix; the other is a soft phase that provides deformability and flexibility to the material. These two phases should be uniformly distributed throughout the polymer matrix. Too much of either phase would make the material too brittle.
The most common types of TPEs are those containing micro-crystalline waxes or amorphous polyolefins for their hard component and those using natural rubber or synthetic rubbers for this purpose.
These materials are used in various applications such as automotive parts, electrical appliances, medical devices, and consumer products. They can be easily processed by conventional techniques such as injection molding and extrusion and can therefore offer advantages over vulcanized rubber products in these applications.
Rubber improves the impact strength and ductility of the plastic, and the plastic raises the stiffness of the rubber in rubber-modified thermoplastics. By combining thermoplastic with natural rubber (NR), a thermoplastic material called as thermoplastic natural rubber (TPNR) is created. TPNR can be processed using methods similar to those used for conventional plastics.
Yes, natural rubber is a type of polymer. Like other polymers, it is made up of large repeating units called monomers. Natural rubber monomers include carbon-carbon linked pairs of iso-butylene and cis-polyisoprene molecules. These molecules can be seen below:
The chemical structure of natural rubber shows that it is very similar to styrene. Both are aromatic hydrocarbons with two carbon atoms attached to a ring structure. Thus, they are called aliphatic hydrocarbons with an aromatic character. This means that natural rubber is a type of plastic!
Natural rubber was first discovered by a French scientist named Michel Eugène Chevreul in 1825. He found that boiling oil of turpentine could soften natural rubber when exposed to sunlight or not. From this discovery, he concluded that rubber is an organic compound. Today we know that rubber is an organic compound derived from plants or insects. It is composed of long chains of carbon atoms connected together in different ways to form rings and branches.
Rubber and elastomer are terms that are often used to refer to any substance that has rubber-like qualities. Elastomers are polymers that are viscoelastic, sticky, and very elastic (plastics). Natural rubber is an elastomer manufactured from latex, which is the milky sap of trees. Petroleum is used to create synthetic elastomers. These include styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), natural rubber latex, and polyurethane.
Elastomers can be used in a wide variety of applications because they can be molded into any shape and will retain their form when stretched or compressed. This makes them useful for products such as tires, belts, hoses, toys, and balloons. They are also used in medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs and catheters.
Synthetic elastomers are used instead of natural rubber because it is much easier to control the chemistry of synthetic materials than it is of natural ones. This allows manufacturers to produce elastomers with specific properties needed for a particular application. For example, one company may make a tire with a layer of synthetic rubber that sticks to itself when squeezed or pressed together. This allows the tire to maintain its shape even after being cut into pieces for sale at a gas station.
Because natural rubber is derived from trees, there is controversy surrounding the harvesting of these trees. In addition, since petroleum oil is used to manufacture synthetic rubbers, there is concern about using up these resources.
Rubber is the generic term for a variety of elastomeric polymers. That is, they return to their original shape after being stretched or distorted. Polyisoprene, or natural rubber derived from the sap of hevea trees in Central America, is a well-known natural rubber polymer. Synthetic rubbers such as styrene-butadiene copolymer and ethylene-propylene diene monomer (EPDM) are also used as alternatives to natural rubber.
Unlike most plastics, rubber does not melt when exposed to heat; rather, it becomes soft and can be molded. This property allows rubber to be used in applications where heat would otherwise damage other materials. For example, rubber toys cannot be put in an oven because they would lose their shape. However, they can be baked at low temperatures with no loss of quality or coloration.
The elasticity of rubber makes it useful in products that require stretchable material such as belts, tires, and condoms. Rubber is also lightweight, which means it doesn't add much weight to products where lightness is important such as airplanes and cars. Finally, rubber does not break down over time like wood does, which means it's durable for use in products that contact surfaces such as skateboards and furniture.
There are two main types of plastic: thermoplastic materials and thermosets. Thermoplastics can be heated and shaped like steel while curing into a rigid state.