When you think of rubber, what comes to mind first? Most people think of tires, which are made of rubber. Some others think of condoms or rubber gloves. Again, two products that are made of rubber. Can you think of anything else made of rubber? Unless you are seriously trying to make a list of rubber products, probably not. Yet, there are as many rubber products in the world today as there are plastic products, and ironically, such products did not exist over a hundred years ago. Both plastic and rubber are fairly new materials, even though they either existed in nature or their ingredients existed to create them.
That said, you might be wondering what other rubber products there are. It may even surprise you to know what rubber products are present your everyday life (besides vehicle tires). Take another look at rubber products, and then consider what kinds of custom manufactured rubber products are available to you.
On the bottoms of most of the shoes you wear is rubber. At one time, hard soles and wooden materials were the foundation of shoes. Those materials did very little to absorb shock with each step, making shoes painful to walk in. Even though your feet may have been protected, rubber does a far better job at helping your foot rebound with each stride and feel less shock from each footfall, and rubber significantly reduces the pain and fatigue your feet feel at the end of each day.
People make mistakes. No truer words are spoken when you are jotting down notes or writing something by hand on paper. Even artists need erasers. Almost all erasers are made of rubber. How on earth did people manage to write anything before erasers existed? They had slates and chalk, or they wrote with exceeding care. Otherwise, they had to rewrite everything all over again. Yes, your erasers at work and play are a very important rubber product.
Rubber Flanges and Gaskets
In an industrial or manufacturing setting, you probably walk right by dozens of rubber products in the form of flanges and gaskets. You may even manufacture goods that have rubber gaskets or flanges in them, such as refrigerators, washers, dishwashers, various car components, etc.. If a tight seal needs to be established to contain gases or fluids, you can bet that a rubber gasket or flange is involved. Additionally, custom rubber products made to fit a specific product are created every day.