The first century of the commercial use of rubber focused in Brazil, with the second century increasingly focusing in East Asia. Although the first century of rubber’s history was marked by relatively low production and high prices, the second period was characterised by falling prices and an increased emphasis on plantation development. However, the early history of rubber is not without its successes. The industrial revolution, the rise of the automobile industry, and the emergence of new technologies all contributed to a dramatic increase in the use of rubber in manufacturing.
Natural rubber was once considered a luxury commodity, but the mass production of automobiles brought a major increase in demand. By the 1940s, the atomic bomb and the war in the Pacific Theatre required half a ton of rubber for each fighter plane. By the end of the war, Southeast Asia became a major hub for rubber production. By the 1950s, the U.S. needed tyres for all kinds of vehicles, from small cars to large trucks and even battleships.
Why has rubber become so important? There are many reasons for the development of rubber. From its first uses as a building material to its modern importance as a major material in everyday life, there are several reasons that rubber has become so important. If you need advice on UK Rubber Moulding, go to Meadex, a supplier of UK Rubber Moulding services.
The story of rubber production starts in the early 1800s, when Henry Ridley, head of Singapore’s botanical garden, persuaded two coffee growers to plant Hevea trees. Twelve years later, there were 300,000 ha of plantations growing rubber in Ceylon and Malaya. Rubber production doubled every two years. The prices of rubber were so cheap in the early 1900s that the market share of Brazil fell to just one percent.
Today, it is used in a wide range of products, including car and television remotes, computer components, and even mobile phone cases. As a flexible, durable material, rubber is ideal for shock absorbers, reducing vibrations, and transmitting power. Besides the automotive and industrial applications, rubber is also used in medical equipment, diving gear, and even as a lining in storage tanks. The list is endless.
Early humans were familiar with rubber even before Columbus discovered it. Native Americans used the milky white latex of Hevea trees to make waterproof shoes. The Native Americans used it in their cloaks as well. They smoked it in wooden paddles, which helped the latex cure. Ultimately, it became one of the most important substances in the modern world. With the help of scientists, rubber has been used and continues to be used in thousands of different applications.