"Natural rubber is an excellent example of a natural polymer and an elastomer in particular. Elastomers are substances that can be readily stretched. They retract rapidly to their original form when released. Natural rubber is also called plantation rubber."
Rubber is formed naturally from making a cut in the rubber tree and obtaining Latex, which is a milky white substance. This is changed from being in a liquid state to being in a solid state with the use of acetic acid, which allows for the rubber to be squeezed, rolled, milled and vulcanised [hardened].
One of the most important elements of rubber is its elasticity. When stretched, it expands and attains its original state, when released. This is due to its coil-like structure. The molecules straighten out when stretched and when released, they coil up again. Therefore applying a stress can easily deform rubber. Note that when this stress is removed, it retains its original shape.
Rubber is easily soluble in ether, carbon disulphide, carbon tetrachloride, petrol and turpentine. It is insoluable in water, alcohol, acetone, dilute acids, and alkalis.
Vulcanised natural rubber is used for making: Rubber bands, football bladders, gloves and rubber tubes.Tyres and tubes of automobiles and conveyor belts for industrial use after hardening.
Comparison between raw natural rubber and vulcanised natural rubber
|Raw Natural Rubber||Vulcanized Natural Rubber|
|Soft and sticky||Comparatively hard and non-sticky|
|Low tensile strength and not very strong||High tensile strength and very strong|
|Low elasticity||High elasticity|
|Can be used over a narrow range of temperature from 10 to 60 degrees centigrade||Can be used over a wide range of temperature from -40 to 100 degrees centigrade|
|Low abrasion resistance||High abrasion resistance|
|Absorbs a large amount of water||Absorbs a small amount of water|
|Soluble in solvents like ether, carbon disu p hide, carbon tetrachlo ride, petrol and turpentine||Insoluble in all the usual solvents|
Synthetic Rubber vs. Natural Rubber:
In 1879, Gustave Bouchardat a Frenchmen created one form of synthetic rubber. He did this by producing a polymer of isoprene in a laboratory. Due to the industrial revolution [motor cars, bikes buildings etc] there was an increased demand for rubber.
Rubber Fetishism in Art
Allen Jones is known for incorporating erotic imagery into his works, including rubber fetishism and BDSM, and this sexuality has often been a focus of both art critics and the press.
In a review on Jones' career, Richard Dorment wrote in November 2014 that "you could argue that Jones's work isn’t really about women; it's about men and how they look at and think about women. Men use various strategies to neutralise or control desire. One is to fetishise the female body...[while] another is for the man to appropriate it."
Fetish wear and more so, latex and rubber used allows for feelings of dominance and confidence.
- Ability to bounce back from adversity - the further you stretch mentally, the more you damage yourself
- Rubber band symbolises something that holds two things together. Allowing them to move apart but always pulling them back together
- Gravitational pull/force - Magnets?
- Being bound to a thought or person
- Feelings of Frustration - you cant get away [escape] and all your attempts to do so are in vain
- Feelings of Safety - The rubber band is not going to leave you. Reassurance, safety, security
The creation of rubber is a long process. It may be referred to a transition or a journey wherein it goes from being a liquid in the form of latex and then being transformed into dry rubber via the addition of acetic acid etc. This represents a journey similar to a relationship. [This idea is expanded upon in the reflective journal]
Latex and PVC Fetishism
Rubber and Latex are very commonly seen in fetish wear. This indicates an entire alternative side of the human mind which is expresses desire. Latex and PVC fetishism emerged as a means of communicating with the orthodox culture about the advances in society.
"The tightness of the garments may also be viewed as a kind of sexual bondage. The smell of latex rubber is also a turn-on for some rubber fetishists, and such garments are usually impregnated with chemicals to enhance the odour. Some rubberists also enjoy the idea of exhibitionism and some fantasise about going out in public wearing fetish attire. Some do this, especially in the more liberal areas (e.g., Berlin, New York, Montreal, San Francisco).
A compelling reason that people are turned on by wearing rubber is its transformative abilities. As with any costume, a rubberist can imagine themselves having a new identity, especially one that permits a different code of behavior."