Synthetic rubber

In early 1926, the Supreme Council of the National Economy announced an international contest for the best industrial method to obtain synthetic rubber. By January 1, 1928, it was required to submit 2 kg of finished product and the factory scheme for its production. Raw materials should be cheap and affordable, and synthetic rubber should be of a quality not lower than natural. The country could not be dependent on imports of this most important national economic and defense products.

In early 1926, the Supreme Council of the National Economy announced an international contest for the best industrial method to obtain synthetic rubber

Scientists of different countries tried to create and adjust the mass production of synthetic rubber. The task was solved by Sergey Vasilyevich Lebedev (1847-1934) - one of the largest scientists in the field of organic chemistry. He can be called one of the founders of chemistry polymers, substitutes for natural materials. The synthetic rubber production scheme proposed by S.V. Lebedev turned out to be the simplest, and the raw material - ethyl alcohol - is the cheapest and available of all possible. And already in 1931, at the pilot plant in Leningrad, the first block of synthetic rubber in 260 kg was received, and in 1932 for the first time in the world the industry of synthetic rubber was created. In a record time new plants were built. The country began to receive thousands of tons of precious raw materials and completely abandoned the import from abroad of the expensive natural rubber.

Synthetic rubber is a high-polymer, rubber-like material. Like natural, has long macromolecular chains, sometimes branched, with an average molecular weight equal to hundreds of thousands and even millions. Polymer chains in synthetic rubber in most cases have double bonds.

Synthetic rubber is subdivided on the basis of, for example, the content of fillers (filled and unfilled), molecular weight (consistency) and final form (solid, liquid, powder). Part of it is produced in the form of aqueous dispersions - synthetic latex. A special group is made up of thermoplastic elastomers.

In the field of application, synthetic rubber is divided into general and special purposes. General rubber is referred to as rubber with a complex of sufficiently high technical properties (strength, elasticity, etc.), suitable for mass production of a wide range of products. A special purpose is a rubber with one or more properties that ensure the performance of special requirements for the product and its working capacity in often extreme operating conditions.

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