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Previous | Next Home > Timeline > 1913 - 1997
  1913 / 1914 World
Cross over point! Plantation output of NR exceeds that of wild (ca. 55/75,000 tons plantation to 66/49,000 tons of wild).
  1914 -1918 Germany
Methyl rubber was used to make vehicle tyres and also converted to synthetic ‘hard rubber’ for battery boxes and other ‘ebonite’ applications.
WL Utermark 1914 UK
Patented latex concentration by centrifugation.
P Schidrowitz & HA Goldsborough 1914 UK
Patented manufacture of foams from latex as apposed to dry rubber.
General Tyre 1915 USA
General Tyre & Rubber Co formed. Later to become Gencorp Inc.
I Ostromislenski 1915 USSR
First organic vulcanization systems without sulphur: nitrobenzene and peroxides(About this time the importance of zinc oxide in accelerated cures was appreciated.).
SJ Peachy 1915 UK
The first practical patent for chlorinated rubber. Solutions as varnishes and corrosion- resistant paint.
DC Brownlee & KR Uhlinger 1916 USA
Patented production of thermal blacks from natural gas.
FH Banbury 1916 USA
Introduced the first rubber ‘internal mixer’.
J Gates 1917 USA
Invented the ‘V’ belt.
B F Goodrich 1918 USA
Invented ‘Vulcalock’ for bonding natural rubber to metal.
GD Kratz 1920  
Discovered the effect of diphenylguanidine (DPG).
World production of NR 350,000 tonnes.
P Schidrowitz 1920 UK
Prevulcanization of latex and its use to manufacture dipped goods.
  1920 World
Natural rubber production 350,000 tons, only 37,000 tons wild.
SM Cadwell 1920  
Developed aldehyde-amine antidegradents.
IJ Cooper 1920 USA
Formed Cooper Corp, later Cooper Tyre & Rubber Co.
P Schidrowitz 192o UK
Discovered the pre-vulcanization of latex.
G Bruni                    CW Bedford 1921 Italy           USA
Mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) discovered.Independently.
Stephenson 1922 UK
Stephenson Reduction Plan introduced to cut output and force up the price of natural rubber. A disaster and soon withdrawn.
BE Lorentz 1922 USA
Thiurams introduced.
SM Cadwell 1922 USA
Xanthates introduced.
RH Marriott 1922 UK
Suggested making rubber thread by extruding latex through a jet into a coagulating bath.
Columbian Carbon 1922 USA
Columbian Carbon introduced a range of furnace blacks.
Goodyear 1923 USA
Introduced cotton tyre cord.
WA Gibbons 1923 USA
Patented modern process – extrusion of compounded latex through multiple glass jets into coagulating bath with continuous draw-off of threads for drying/curing.
E Hopkinson &           G Bruni 1923 Italy
Zinc dithiocarbamates introduced.
WF Russell 1923 USA
Patented organic fatty acid/zinc oxide use in vulcanization.
Revertex 1923 Malaysia
Revertex formed in Malaysia to produce latex concentrate by a heat process.
  1924 Germany
Fossilized rubber 60,000,000 years old found.
M Cadwell, H Gray & HA Winklemann 1924 USA
MC and HG/HAW independently develop the first commercially feasible antioxidants.
  1925 Germany
Serious work began on the synthesis of Synthetic polybutadiene (Buna).
HL Fisher 1925 USA
The first commercial use of cyclised rubber as metal-rubber bond interface.
First commercial antioxidants (amines) introduced - Staining.
  1925 / 1926 Malaysia
Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia formed under Dr G Bryce. Took over research labs of the Rubber Growers Association.
Rosenbaum 1926 UK
Quote: "Synthetic rubber is dead".
HL Fisher 1927 USA
Working for BF Goodrich, put cyclized rubber on a commercial footing. Materials ranged from gutta percha-like to shellac-like thermoplastic resins. Used in ‘Vulcalock’ process to bond vulcanized rubber to most serfaces for chemical protection.
Henry Ford 1927 Brazil
He began to build ‘Fordlandia’ – a complete town in the jungle with (eventually) a plantation of over a million rubber trees.
JC Patrick 1928 USA
Patented "Thiokol" - first commercial synthetic rubber. Note that this is not a S cure! just metal oxides and possibly quinones.
W Semon 1930 USA
Suggested diffusion after vulcanization of protective agents into rubbers to extend life.
  1930 World
World production of NR 850,000 tons.
E Tschunker 1930 Germany
Buna N and Buna NN discovered (nitrile rubbers of 25% ACN and 35% ACN).
Introduction of amine derivative antioxidants (still staining).
Carothers, Williams, Collins & Kirby 1931 USA
DuPont Invented Duprene. Became polychloroprene (Neoprene).
S Ishibashi 1931 Japan
Forms Bridgestone Co Ltd.
IG Farben 1932 Germany
Discovered sulphenamides - adducts of MBT with amines.
C Dufraisse & Drisch 1931 France
Observed that rubber extract can be added to rubber to improve its ageing.
  1932 USSR
Russia manufactured SKA - followed by SKB (polybutadiene rubbers).
  1933 World
Synthetic rubbers first featured in statistics at 2,000 tons.
N Christensen 1933 USA
Invented the ‘simple’ ‘O’ ring seal.
E Tschunker 1933 / 1934 Germany
Buna S patented and produced (Styrene butadiene copolymer).
  1934 Brazil
Tropical leaf blight wiped out the plantation of ‘Fordlandia’. Fordlandia 2 begun but again wiped out. The end of Brazil’s dream of a rubber plantation industry.
  1935 USSR
Sovprene. equivalent to neoprene.
Goodyear 1936 USA
Introduced ‘Pliofilm’ (rubber hydrochloride) as a thin transparent packaging film although patented a couple of years or so earlier.
IG etc 1936 Germany
IG and Metallgesellschaft both used chlorinated rubber to bond steel and nitrile rubber or polychloroprene.
  1936 France
Institut Francais du Caoutchouc set up in Paris.
  1936 Netherlands
Rubber Stichting (foundation) established.
O Bayer 1937 Germany
Developed urethane rubbers.
RM Thomas 1937 USA
Butyl rubber.
  1938 UK
British Rubber Producers Research Association created. Later Malaysian Rubber … (MRPRA) then Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre ( TARRC).
Goodyear 1938 USA
Introduced rayon tyre cord.
TR Dawson 1939 UK
Claimed the word “latex” was in use as early as 1662.
Union Carbide & Goodrich 1939 USA
First use of plasticized PVC as cable sheath.
  1939 USA
Nitrile rubber produced in the States.
  1940 USSR
SKI - polymerised isoprene (synthetic "NR").
  1940 World
NR production 1,500,,000 tons, synthetics 150,000 tons.
WP Cousino 1941 USA
Took out the first patent for injection moulding rubber articles.
  1943 USA
GR-S production started (now known as SBR). Government rubber-styrene -> styrene butadiene rubber (c.f. Buna S).
Pintin 1943 Germany
First patent relating to urethane rubbers.
  1940 - 1945 Germany
Nitrile rubber lattices used for many dipped goods. Use of PVME to heat coagulate and thus make thick films with a single dip also found (by accident).
  1940 - 1945 Germany
Triisocyanate triphenyl methane developed as a rubber-metal bonding agent. Known today as Desmodur R.
Dow Corning & General Elec. 1945 USA
Silicone rubber. Not a sulphur cure, peroxides used.
Goodyear 1947 USA
Introduced nylon tyre cord.
Michelin 1948 France
Michelin introduced the radial tyre (the cords run bead-to-bead at 90° to the wheel direction).
DuPont 1948 USA
DuPont develops fluoropolymers.
Goodrich 1949 USA
Acetate rubbers developed.
  1950 World
NR production 1,900,000 tons, Synthetics 800,000 tons.
Introduction of Phenolic antioxidants (some non staining).
  1950's Brazil
Last wild rubber exported.
Pirelli 1951 Italy
Pirelli launches its steel belted radial the ‘Cinturato’.
Goodrich 1954 USA
Announced high cis synthetic "NR" based on Ziegler/Natta catalysts.
  1954 USA
Introduction of substituted para-phenylenediamine antiozonants (still staining).
Firestone 1955 USA
Low cis synthetic "NR".
Michelin 1956 USA
Michelin imports first radials into USA.
DuPont 1958 USA
  1959 World
NR production overtaken by the synthetics.
  1960 World
NR production 2,000,000 tons, Synthetics 2,500,000 tons.
Goodyear 1962 USA
Introduced polyester tyre cord.
  1964 UK
Albany Court built in London above St James Underground station. The first building to rest solely on natural rubber anti-vibration mounts.
Urethane crosslinking of NR discovered.
  1970 World
NR production 3,000,000 tons, Synthetics 5,750,000 tons.
Dunlop 1972 UK
Dunlop introduced the ‘tubeless’ tyre.
  1972 World
Thermoplastic rubbers which have the properties of a vulcanizate at ‘room temperature’ but can be moulded and re-moulded at high temperatures start to become important.
DS Campbell, DJ Elliott & MA Wheelans 1979 UK
Introduced thermoplastic natural rubber.
World NR production 3,850,000 tons, Synthetics 8,250,000 tons.
  1984 USA
The Law and Justice centre in San Bernadino County was the first building to be supported on high damping (earthquake resisting) natural rubber bearings.
  1987 Malaysia
Epoxidised natural rubber became commercially available – chemically modified to move into areas unique to the synthetics (oil-resistant and high damping).


NR production 5,200,000 tons, Synthetics 9,300,000 tons.
  1990 World
Perhaps 5 billion plantation "hevea braziliensis" trees producing rubber worldwide.
World NR production 6,500,000 tons, Synthetics 8,700,000 tons.