Synthetic Materials Project By: Megan Manalad and Kiara Francisco

What is Rubber?

  • Rubber is made of a collection of polymers bonded together
  • There are two broad types of rubber
  • Approximately 70% of rubber used is synthetic
  • Half of all rubber is used in car tires

Natural Rubber

  • Made from the sap that comes out of certain trees
  • The milky white liquid is better known as latex
  • The factory will then mold the liquid into a long, wide strip
  • This will be sent to other factories to be “created into about anything”
  • Ancient Mayans and Aztecs, in what is now Central America, harvested the milky white liquid from the hevea tree and used it to make waterproof boots and the balls that they used to play a game similar to basketball.

Synthetic Rubber

  • Made in Chemical Plants meaning it is man made
  • Start out as petrochemicals
  • Petrochemicals-chemical created from petroleum and NATURAL gas
  • Examples of uses for synthetic rubbers are those used on tires
  • Synthetic rubbers are more resistant to oil, certain chemicals and oxygen, have better aging and weathering characteristics, and good resilience over a wider temperature range.

History of Synthetic Rubber:

  • 1910-First created by a Russian Scientists
  • 1920-German Staudinger determined the structure of natural rubber which was the key to creating synthetic rubber
  • 1929- patent for the first even synthetic rubber
  • 1935- German scientists synthesized the first series of synthetic rubber
  • 1939- first large production of synthetic rubber


All types of rubber are made with natural components. Although natural rubber may sound as the only type that is made of natural components, synthetic rubber comes from the same origin.


When you hear “natural rubber,” you’re initial thought would mean that it is simply natural and not artificial. It wasn’t made in a lab, it is a 100% organic material. But as soon as the word “synthetic rubber” pops up, it’s a different story. Synthetic, meaning it is man-made and generated through chemicals or artificial materials. When synthetic rubber was first made, its structure was based off of natural rubber. Though the original sap of the rubber tree is not used in the production of synthetic rubber, there are still natural materials and resources used. As mentioned before, synthetic rubber is a mixture of natural gases and petroleum.


Our evidence supports our claim because Synthetic Rubber is composed of natural ingredients despite its name. Because of its misleading name, synthetic rubber leads you to think that it is completely made of chemicals and other unnatural substances. As stated above, this is not true. Synthetic rubber starts out with petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are chemicals made from petroleum [aka oil]. Petroleum is a natural resource found beneath the earth. Petroleum is a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of plants and animals that lived 300 million years ago.Other natural sources used to fabricate artificial rubber are coal, oil, acetylene, as well as several natural gases. In conclusion Synthetic Rubber is actually made from natural materials despite its misleading name.



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