why does rubber become sticky

When you think of rubber, you might think of tires or pencil erasers. You might not think of sticky tape, but that’s another common rubber product. Why does rubber become sticky?

There are a few reasons. First, when rubber is exposed to oxygen, it starts to degrade. This process is called oxidation, and it causes the rubber to become brittle and dry over time. This makes the rubber less elastic and more likely to break.

Second, when rubber is exposed to heat, it can start to melt. This makes the rubber softer and more pliable, which can make it seem sticky.

Finally, some chemicals can cause Rubber to become sticky. For example, contact with gasoline or oil can make Rubber deteriorate and become gummy. So if you’re handling these substances, be sure to wash your hands afterwards! 

The science behind sticky rubber 

Have you ever wondered why rubber becomes sticky? It’s not just because it’s hot outside. The science behind sticky rubber is actually pretty interesting.

Rubber is made up of long chains of molecules called polymers. When rubber is heated, the chains start to vibrate and unravel. This makes the rubber less elastic and more sticky.

The reason that hot weather makes rubber more sticky is because the heat speeds up the vibration of the polymer chains. In other words, the hotter it is, the more likely the rubber will become sticky.

So next time you’re stuck in traffic on a hot day, you can blame it on the science of sticky rubber! 

The benefits of sticky rubber 

Sticky rubber has many benefits that are not well known. This type of rubber is commonly used in adhesives, sealants and coatings. It has a unique ability to adhere to surfaces and provide a waterproof barrier. It is also resistant to heat, cold, abrasion and chemicals. Sticky rubber can be used in a variety of applications including automotive, aerospace, construction and medical silicone hose

The drawbacks of sticky rubber 

When rubber is first made, it is incredibly sticky. This is because the process of vulcanization, which gives rubber its elasticity, also leaves behind a number of reactive groups on the polymer chains. These groups can interact with other molecules, causing the rubber to become sticky.

There are a number of drawbacks to this stickiness. First, it can make the rubber difficult to handle. Second, it can cause the rubber to pick up dirt and other contaminants that can reduce its effectiveness. Finally, it can make the rubber less durable over time as the reactive groups slowly break down. 

The future of sticky rubber 

As we move into the future, it’s important to consider the role that sticky rubber will play. This seemingly simple material has a wide variety of uses, from tires to adhesives, and its unique properties make it essential for many industries.

However, sticky rubber does have some drawbacks. It can be difficult to remove, and it doesn’t always adhere well to surfaces. Additionally, it can be expensive to produce.

Despite these challenges, sticky rubber is an essential material with a bright future. Researchers are working on new ways to improve its stickiness and durability, making it even more useful in the years to come. 


The stickiness of rubber is caused by the presence of oxygen. When rubber is exposed to air, it oxidizes and the oxygen molecules bond with the rubber molecules. This process makes the rubber harder and more brittle. Over time, the oxygen molecules break down the rubber molecules, making them sticky.

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