Rubber is an elastic material that is either obtained from elastic plants (natural rubber) or synthesized using petroleum oil (synthetic rubber). Therefore, there are two types of rubber: natural rubber and synthetic rubber.
Natural rubber is composed of isoprene polymers and water along with some other compounds. The main component of natural rubber is polyisoprene. This polymer material (elastomer) is found in natural rubber. Natural rubber is obtained from the latex of the rubber tree. This latex is milky and viscous, and can be obtained from parts close to the bark. Natural rubber is susceptible to vulcanization due to the presence of a double bond in the polymer backbone. Vulcanization is the process of forming crosslinks between polymer chains using sulfur as a crosslinking agent. Vulcanized rubber is harder and more durable than natural rubber. Synthetic rubber is produced from oil or natural gas. Synthetic rubber is produced in chemical plants using petrochemicals as a starting point. For example, a type of synthetic rubber is obtained from the reaction of acetylene and hydrochloric acid polychloroprene.