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caoutchouc(kou`cho͝ok), natural rubberrubber,
any solid substance that upon vulcanization becomes elastic; the term includes natural rubber (caoutchouc) and synthetic rubber. The term elastomer is sometimes used to designate synthetic rubber only and is sometimes extended to include caoutchouc as well.
..... Click the link for more information. obtained as a latexlatex,
emulsion of a polymer (e.g., rubber) in water (see colloid). Natural latexes are produced by a number of plants, are usually white in color, and often contain, in addition to rubber, various gums, oils, and waxes.
..... Click the link for more information. from various tropical plants, e.g., the Pará rubber treePará rubber tree
, large tree (Hevea brasiliensis) of the family Euphorbiaceae (spurge family), native to tropical South America and the source of the greatest amount and finest quality of natural rubber.
..... Click the link for more information. . It is much more elastic than balatabalata
, nonelastic natural rubber obtained as a latex from the South American tree Manikara bidentata and from related trees. Its properties are similar to those of gutta-percha, and its processing and uses are essentially the same. It is sometimes called gutta balata.
..... Click the link for more information. or gutta-perchagutta-percha
, natural latex obtained from Palaquium gutta and several other evergreen trees of East Asia. The latex, collected by felling or girdling the tree, is allowed to coagulate and is then washed, purified, and molded into bricks for shipping.
..... Click the link for more information. . It is the most familiar and widely used of the natural rubbers. It is usually processed by coagulating the latex and by milling or smoking the solid rubber. It is then further treated, e.g., by vulcanizationvulcanization
, treatment of rubber to give it certain qualities, e.g., strength, elasticity, and resistance to solvents, and to render it impervious to moderate heat and cold.
..... Click the link for more information. , to produce useful articles.
Formerly, crude rubber which had been cured over a fire into a solid, dark mass for shipment.