Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Synthetic rubber

Another plastic that was critical to the war attempt was "synthetic rubber", which was produced in a range of forms.The first synthetic rubber polymer was obtained by Lebedev in 1910. Practical imitation rubber grew out of studies published in 1930 written separately by American Wallace Carothers, Russian scientist Lebedev and the German scientist Hermann Staudinger. These studies led in 1931 to one of the first winning synthetic rubbers, known as "neoprene", which was residential at DuPont under the direction of E.K. Bolton. Neoprene is highly unwilling to heat and chemicals such as oil and gasoline, and is used in fuel hoses and as an insulating material in machinery.

Worldwide natural rubber goods were limited and by mid-1942 most of the rubber-producing regions were under Japanese control. Military trucks wanted rubber for tires, and rubber was used in almost every other war machine. The U.S. government launched a major effort to expand and refine synthetic rubber. A principal scientist concerned with the effort was Edward Robbins.