- Issue Time
What are differences between Rubber and Plastic?
Rubber vs. Plastic
It is quite easyto differentiate between the two. By simply looking at each material, one canimmediately tell that a particular thing, or object, is made of rubber and notplastic, or vice versa. The only confusion between the two is when the termpolymer is used. Polymer as a term that greatly denotes plastics, butnonetheless, this term also describes the characteristic of rubbers. Althoughrubber is more of the specific elastomer (a viscous or elastic variation ofpolymers), it is still considered to be a polymer.
Both plastics andrubbers are classified in many different manners. In fact, for plastics alonethere are more than 10,000 different types. Some are grouped according to type,quality, design or to the material(s) used to make the rubber or plastic. Thisis why both materials have become very diverse in terms of their usage.Plastics are used in almost every aspect, like clothing, food, beverages,construction and many others. Its major classes are the more commonthermoplastics (plastics that will melt when enough heat is applied) and thethermosets (can only melt or take form once, because they remain solid afterthey have been solidified). Rubbers are more commonly used in vehicletires, industrial purposes and specific shoe sole, etc.
It is alsoimportant to denote that it was around the year 1976 when plastic become widelyused around the world. Plastics are basically made from natural gas andpetroleum. Both of these raw materials are nonrenewable. Hence, recyclingplastics is the immediate solution to the growing demand for the said material.
On the contrary,rubber can be either synthetic or natural. Synthetic means that the rubber ismade from crude oil, which also happens to be another nonrenewable resource.Nevertheless, the other type (natural rubber) can be harnessed from trees (i.e.rubber tree), in which a substance (latex) is then extracted.
Although both arepolymers, plastic and rubber differ because:
1. Rubber can beconsidered elastomers, and that’s why when compared to plastics, they arenaturally more elastic.
2. Syntheticrubber is derived from crude oil, whereas synthetic plastic is made ofpetroleum and natural gas.