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NATURAL RUBBER – a Natural Treasure from the Jungle

If you browsed our website, you might be at least a fan of paddling sports and inflatable boats are probably well-known products to you. However, few people know that the company GUMOTEX produces its boats from the materials that are not made from PVC but from natural or synthetic rubber.

Rubber is a polymeric materialwith the natural or synthetic origin which is highly flexible and thus with the outer strength it is able to substantially deform itself and then make its original shape again. It is so-called elastomer.

Natural rubber is obtained from the tropical rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). With cutting its bark raw rubber latex is extracted and then with precipitation and other modification, rubber is made out of it.

Extraction of natural caoutchouc

Synthetic rubber is made by chemical reaction of some unsaturated hydrocarbons and it might have various content. Rubber is produced from natural rubbers made of hydrocarbon with added fillers, antioxidants, vulcanising agents which enable the following vulcanisation (i.e. a chemical reaction during which networking of synthetic molecules or natural rubbers occurs and this provides more flexibility).

Production and measurement of caoutchouc mixture

Rubber in Europe has long history. Natural rubber has been known in Europe since approximately the mid 18th century. Rubber trees were grown for its production up to the second half of the 19th century only in South America and later in Southeast Asia. Invention of vulcanisation was crucial for wider use of the natural (and later also synthetic) rubber which is usually attributed to an American Charles Goodyear and is dated to 1844. The first synthetically made rubbers were polyisoprene (in 1909 in Germany) and polybutadiene (in 1910 in Russia). The invention of styrene-butadiene rubber by German chemists in 1935 was also a significant moment.

In the last century, we could find also toys and deckchairs in GUMOTEX portfolio

As indicated by the name, the company GUMOTEX first and foremost focuses on transformation of these ordinary materials to extraordinary products. In its long-term history, the company GUMOTEX, a joint-stock company, has a wide portfolio starting with gummed clothes and ending with gum toys. The essential benefit of the company is, however, the fact that it is able to tailor the material to any customer according to the particular needs and requirements thanks to its own development and laboratory research.

Laboratories for testing new mixtures and their quality

The most well-known product of the company GUMOTEX are definitely the already mentioned inflatable boats. The own material developed by the company for production of boats comprising high tenacity woven fabric and two-sided cover of both natural and synthetic rubber is called NITRILON®.

Boats made by us are characterized by several key benefits for which we are grateful particularly to rubber.

  1. Durability – In comparison with PVC out of which the most of the competing products are made, our materials maintain flexibility for a long time and do not crack. Therefore, you do not buy a boat for two seasons but for many years.
  2. Compactness and lightweight – Even though most of us imagine as an example of durability more massive and cumbersome products, it is not like that! GUMOTEX boats are very space-saving and lightweight and when you put them to the travel backpack on your back, you may set off for a journey literarily anywhere.
  3. Weather resistance – Did you happen to leave your boat made from PVC or an inflatable swimming pool outside after the season before the first frost and it was destroyed by frost? With our boats, you may set off even to Antarctica where they help with the research at the Czech research station – the Johann Gregor Mendel Station. Our boats endure up to the temperature of -40°C.
  4. Ecology – Nowadays people eventually think of their behaviour in the nature and everyone aspires to do their part for its protection (by for instance separation of garbage). Atremendous burden is actually widespread use of the PVC material for manufacturing of a wide range of products including majority of boats. Phthalates are often released from PVC products and during combustion poisonous dioxins which are substances toxic for humans are released. For this reason, GUMOTEX inflatable boats are currently highly appreciated since the material NITRILON® usedfor their production is not made from PVC.

Thanks to their ability to be packed-up easily and their lightweight, GUMOTEX boats present an ideal choice for travelling

GUMOTEX boats has far more benefits which are essential not only due to high-quality material but also thanks to many years of experience, innovation and most importantly people who have produced the boats in general manually for more than 60 years! But this would be another story maybe for the next time.

Text: Magdalena Zhánělová

Photo: Gumotex archive

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