Difference Between Plastic And Rubber

Difference Between Plastic and Rubber

Plastic and rubber are both versatile materials that are commonly used in various industries and applications. While they may seem similar in some ways, there are significant differences between plastic and rubber. In this article, we will explore these differences, including their composition, properties, and applications.


Plastic: Plastic is a synthetic material that is composed of polymers, which are long chains of repeating molecules. These polymers are typically derived from petrochemicals, such as crude oil or natural gas. Plastic can be formed into different shapes and sizes through various manufacturing processes, including injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding.

Rubber: Rubber, on the other hand, is a natural or synthetic material that is elastic in nature. Natural rubber comes from the sap of the rubber tree, while synthetic rubber is produced by chemical processes. Natural rubber consists of long polymer chains composed of repeating units of isoprene, while synthetic rubber is made from different types of monomers.


Plastic: Plastic exhibits a wide range of properties depending on its composition and additives. Some common properties of plastic include:

  1. Durability: Plastic is generally durable and can withstand a variety of environmental conditions.
  2. Versatility: Plastic can be molded into different shapes and sizes, making it highly versatile.
  3. Stability: Plastic can have excellent chemical resistance and stability, depending on its composition.
  4. Rigidity or Flexibility: Plastic can be rigid or flexible, depending on its composition. Some plastics can also be transparent.

Rubber: Rubber is known for its unique elastic properties and excellent resilience. Some properties of rubber include:

  1. Elasticity: Rubber can stretch and return to its original shape, making it highly elastic.
  2. Resilience: Rubber can absorb and distribute energy, making it ideal for applications requiring shock absorption or damping.
  3. Low Friction: Rubber has low coefficients of friction, making it suitable for applications such as seals and gaskets.
  4. Water Resistance: Rubber can exhibit good resistance to water and is often used in waterproofing applications.


Plastic: Plastic has a wide range of applications due to its versatility and durability. Some common uses of plastic include:

  1. Packaging: Plastic is extensively used for packaging materials such as bottles, containers, and wraps.
  2. Construction: Plastic is used in various construction applications, including pipes, insulation, and flooring.
  3. Automotive: Plastic is found in automotive components such as dashboards, bumpers, and interior trims.
  4. Electronics: Plastic is used in electronic devices for casings, connectors, and insulation.

Rubber: Rubber is valued for its elastic properties and is used in applications that require flexibility and resilience. Some common uses of rubber include:

  1. Tires: Rubber is the primary material used in tire production due to its ability to provide traction and absorb shock.
  2. Seals and Gaskets: Rubber is used in seals and gaskets to prevent leaks and provide a tight seal.
  3. Industrial Belts: Rubber is used in conveyor belts, power transmission belts, and other industrial applications.
  4. Footwear: Rubber is commonly used in the production of footwear, including soles and outsoles.


In conclusion, plastic and rubber are distinct materials with different compositions, properties, and applications. Plastic is a synthetic material made from polymers and can be molded into various shapes. It is durable, versatile, and can be rigid or flexible. Rubber, on the other hand, is elastic in nature and can stretch and return to its original shape. It is known for its resilience, low friction, and water resistance. Rubber is commonly used in applications such as tires, seals, gaskets, and footwear. Plastic finds applications in packaging, construction, automotive, and electronics industries. Understanding the differences between plastic and rubber allows us to appreciate their unique characteristics and utilize them effectively in different contexts.


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