Rubber (synthetic)

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MFA Acc. #: 52.1315a


Any man-made elastomer. The development of synthetic rubbers was stimulated when rubber imports ceased in 1941 due to Japanese occupation in southeast Asia. Within 3 years, US manufacturers had developed over nine types of elastomers. Most age better than natural natural rubber but are still susceptible to degradation by ozone and radiation ultraviolet light. All rubbers must be chemically vulcanized to form an stable product. The unsaturated materials are vulcanized with sulfur while others are vulcanized with peroxide peroxide, metallic oxide, or diisocyanates. Examples of synthetic rubbers are: butadiene, styrene; Buna, rubber nitrile rubber, SBR (rubber styrene-butadiene rubber), ABS (butadiene styrene resin acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), EPR (propylene rubber ethylene propylene rubber), EPDM (propylene terpolymer ethylene propylene diene), rubber butyl rubber (isoprene), neoprene (polychloroprene), polysulfide, silicone (polysiloxane), epichlorohydrin, polyurethane.

MFA Acc. #: 2006.551

Synonyms and Related Terms

synthetic rubber; caucho sinttico (Esp.); caoutchouc synthtique (Fr.); gomma sintetica (It.); borracha sinttica (Port.)

Examples: isoprene; butadiene; styrene; Buna; nitrile; SBR; ABS; EPR; butyl; neoprene; polysulfide;


  • Theodore J. Reinhart, Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • M.Kaufman, M.Kaufman, The First Century of Plastics, The Plastics and Rubber Institute, London, 1963
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002

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