Rubber’s elastic propertycomes from its chemicalmakeup. Rubber is apolymer, a chain ofrepeating units calledmonomers (Freudenrich1).
The monomer in rubber iscalled isoprene and hastwo carbon-carbon doublebonds (1).
The fluid which comes from latex trees contains largenumbers of isoprene molecules and as the latex dries, theisoprene molecules crowd together (1). The isoprenemolecules then attack carbon-carbon double bonds ofneighboring molecules causing the double bonds to break(1). The electrons then rearrange to form a bond between thetwo isoprene molecules (1).
The process continues until long strands of many isoprenemolecules are linked like a chain (Freudenrich 1). Thesestrands are called polyisoprene polymer with eachpolyisoprene molecule containing thousands of isoprenemonomers (1).
As the drying process continues electrostatic bonds formbetween the polyisoprene strands (1). The electrostaticattraction between strands holds the rubber fibers togetherand gives them their “stretchy” property (1).
Temperature affects the electrostatic interactions between thepolyisoprene strands in latex rubber (1). Hot temperaturesreduce the interactions and cause the rubber to have a stickiertexture (1). Colder temperatures increase the interactions andcause the rubber to become brittle (1).