Rubber sponge, vulcanized

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A flexible, resilient foam of natural rubber. Sponge rubber is made by physically or chemically inducing air into a hot latex solution followed by curing by vulcanization. It has many small pores that create a highly absorbent surface area. Sponge rubber is used commercially for mattresses, cushions, vibration damping, gaskets, insulation, and carpet underlays. In conservation, it has been used as a dry cleaning sponge, since it will adhere dirt and soot without the use of detergents or solvents. Rubber sponges have been used for cleaning paper, textiles, wood, metal, and painted surfaces.

Synonyms and Related Terms

vulcanized rubber sponge; sponge rubber; foam rubber; cellular rubber; dry cleaning sponge

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 754
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Conservation Support Systems, Catalog, 1997

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