America 1930-1939: Science and Technology Research Article from American Decades

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The Nature of Rubber.

In the past rubber had to be imported from tropical lands where rubber trees grew. The material's strategic value was emphasized in World War I during the blockade of Germany, when shortages complicated the construction of military and civilian vehicles. After the war Du Pont began work on synthesizing artificial rubber. Using chloroprene, a product derived from acetylene, as a primary ingredient, the firm's chemists, in particular F. B. Downing, W. H. Carothers, and Ira Williams, eventually reached a satisfactory rubber substitute by incorporating substances derived from limestone, coal, salt, and water. The new product, christened "duprene" and introduced officially in late 1931, was intended to supplement natural rubber at first but already displayed one significant advantage in its properties, that of resisting the degrading effects of oxygen, kerosene, and gasoline. It also did not require the addition of...

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This section contains 514 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the America 1930-1939: Science and Technology Encyclopedia Article
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