Latex Rubber:- Latex is a milky white liquid emulsion contained in the cells of some flowering plants, such as the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis or any of the synthetic rubber or plastic-based water emulsions.
The plant product is a complex mixture of substances suspended in a watery medium in which salts, sugars, tannins, alkaloids, enzymes, and other substances are dissolved including various gum resins, fats or waxes and, in some cases poisonous compounds.
It is produced mainly by the cells of plants in the Asclepiadoideae subfamily and others in the Apocynaceae family but also by plants in the Sapotaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Papaveraceae, Moraceae, and Asteraceae families
WHERE DOES LATEX COME FROM?
The bulk of natural rubber latex comes from a single rubber tree species. The latex composition varies depending on the tree, but the most common is native to South America.
The tree grows well in the Southeast Asian plantations as well. Latex lives under the bark of these rubber trees.
Tappers damage the plant ducts by peeling back the bark, revealing latex, a milky white material. The latex can then be harvested and sent off to be processed.
WHAT IS LATEX RUBBER MADE FROM?
A mature rubber tree’s latex is a soft white material found under the bark. Given the intensity and man-made feel of so many of its final uses, such as tires, rubber gloves, and tennis shoes, you might be shocked to think of latex as a natural material.
The reality is that natural rubber latex is derived from nature. Rubber tappers collect latex from trees using a procedure that has been passed down over centuries until it is processed
HOW IS LATEX PROCESSED INTO RUBBER?
Rubber production starts with the collection of latex from rubber trees. Following that, businesses filter the latex before packaging it in containers for transport.
Companies apply acid to latex when it is about to be turned into smoked rubber tubes. The substance clumps as a result of this. In a mill, the clumped fluid is rolled into sheets.
This removes the water from the pads, allowing them to be dried and smoked. Latex is finally prevulcanized. Chemical treatments and low-temperature gentle heating are used in the prevulcanization process.
It is easier to transport latex after it has been prevulcanized. The material can now be transformed into normal rubber with further heating.
Latex is an excellent rubber substance after processing. Latex’s tensile and elongation properties, as well as tear resistance and overall durability are well known.
Latex is unaffected by the majority of modern abrasives. Low temperatures are not a problem but high temperatures can be. Latex can corrode at temperatures above 82 degrees.
To protect latex from corrosion caused by heat, sunlight and oxygen, treatment chemicals can be added. Latex should not be used in conjunction with petroleum products or solvents. This will cause the latex to break down.
WHAT ARE THE USES OF LATEX?
Latex has a wide range of uses, from everyday objects to more advanced applications. Gloves, swim caps, chewing gum, mattresses, catheters, rubber bands, balloons, tennis shoes, and a number of other sporting goods are all manufactured of natural rubber latex.
Coatings containing synthetic latexes, such as latex paint are popular. They are also used in glues because of their tendency to solidify when water evaporates from the latex polymer particles.
Synthetic latex can also be mixed into cement for resurfacing and repairing cracks in concrete.
APPLICATIONS OF LATEX RUBBER
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF LATEX
The latex in the bottle is ready to use right away. Latex is a moulded rubber that is affordable, has strong abrasion resistance, and is elastic. Latex has the rare ability to be separated from a model like a glove. Latex molds may also be used to cast wax or gypsum.
However, Latex materials that are inexpensive tend to shrink. Making moulds out of latex rubber takes a long time. It takes ten days or more to make a brush on latex mould. Latex moulds are not recommended for resin casting.
We hope you can use this knowledge to source more efficiently for your needs, now that we have covered the basics of latex rubber, such as what it is, its properties and its applications.
However, latex is only one of the several common types of rubbers, each with its own set of characteristics and applications.
Check out our types of rubber guide if you want to learn more about how different rubbers compare to one another or follow us on social media to stay updated