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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Elastomers: rubber and synthetic rubber

Rubber is a naturally occuring material found in the latex of plants—particularly the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), but also in common plants such as the fig tree and the common dandelion. In the 1840s, rubber from the Malayan gutta-percha tree (Palaquium gutta) was used as an insulator and later for golf balls. In 1876, Henry Wickham collected seeds of the Pará rubber tree in Brazil for Kew Gardens, in England, and seedlings were later sent to Southeast Asia. This led to the development of the Malaysian rubber plantations, which are the largest producers of natural rubber in the world. Natural rubber is a polymer of isoprene, and is both a thermoplastic and an elastomer. However, if moderately ...

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