We all know why rubber dry rots when the rubber starts rotting as such that it becomes cracked all around. Do you know why rubber dry rots happen? Extreme environmental conditions like high temperatures and UV radiations are what lead a bouncy rubber to become dry rot. Why are we discussing rubber dry rots in this article? That’s because rubber dry rots and rubber reversion are somewhat the same. Just like rubber dry rots, rubber reversion also happens as a result of extreme environmental conditions. However, the reversion of rubber is interesting to understand why is it called reversion of rubber and not melting of rubber. This mystery will become clear to you once you get to the end of this article, so read it till the end.
Rubber isn’t a natural product but is synthesized by using raw material, which is obtained from a natural source and is then processed through a chemical process to achieve its final state as a rubber. The raw material for synthesizing rubber is obtained from trees; a syrup almost similar to the consistency of maple syrup is collected from trees and is very sticky. This is also called natural rubber; this then goes through a process called vulcanization, in which this natural rubber is blended with sulfur atoms and other curatives and accelerators. These additives are added to the natural rubber to enhance its elasticity for changing temperatures. Three-dimensional cross-links are formed between each polymer chain of natural rubber for adding additives into the natural rubber. That’s how one gets a rubber that is not sticky and bounces perfectly. Therefore, reversion of rubber is basically the reversal of synthetic rubber to its natural state by extreme environmental conditions.
Rubber reversion is considered to be a bad thing, but the reality is that it is a very good thing for the safety of the environment. Anything that cannot be recycled is not environmentally friendly, and since the world has already been damaged by humans so much, the only solution now is to make things that can be recycled. Recycling of products also requires running the products through a recycling process, but with rubber, the recycling happens naturally. Rubber reversion is a natural recycling process of rubber that reverses the rubber back to its original state. This rubber doesn’t go to waste as it can be vulcanized again. Rubber reversion and then re-vulcanizing this rubber doesn’t even make the final rubber any less. It can be used for making anything like tires, mousepads, construction materials, and anything.
Synthetic rubber has a life span, and after that, it will reverse naturally, but obviously, no one wants its rubber product to reverse just after using it for one day. Rubber reversion is good, but only when it happens at its specified time; early rubber reversion isn’t a good sign. For this reason, stabilizers are added to the natural rubber during vulcanization as they help prevent the risk of early rubber reversion. However, if a rubber reverses to its original state earlier to a great extent, then comparative analysis of that rubber can help reveal the polymer that it was made of and its lost cross-link density. This analysis will help the manufacturers of synthetic rubber to understand their product even better and improve it by slightly altering their rubber formula according to the need. Thereby, the product they will achieve will then fulfill its set expectations and won’t reverse before its time. So, what did you learn? Rubber isn’t always bouncy; it can be sticky sometimes which can not go in any milling machine , that is why rubber reversal is of more good than bad for us.