Think of rubber and you probably think of elastic bands, car tires, or pencil erasers. But this super-stretchy material actually finds its way into tens of thousands of different products—everything from rubber stamps and waterproof shoes to surfing wetsuits, swimming caps, and dishwasher hoses. Natural rubber is mainly used in the production of heavy-duty tires, vibration dampers, springs and bearings. For special purposes it is used in hoses seals, conveyor belts, coated fabrics and other products.
Rubber is made into articles as diverse as raincoats and sponges, bowling balls and pillows, electrical insulation and erasers. People ride on rubber tires and walk on rubber heels. Rubber is also used in toys, balls, rafts, elastic bandages, adhesives, paints, hoses, and a multitude of other products.
The advantages of natural rubber are less buildup of heat from flexing and greater resistance to tearing when hot.