Difference Between Rubber and Plastic (With Table)

It can be very well seen that technological advancement from the easy use of wood and cement to the coming up of metal and other materials has made our lives so much easier.

Certain materials that have not only brought changes but have also revolutionized our lives is rubber and plastic.

A polymer is a macromolecule that’s created out of the many continuance units that shows the monomer accustomed to build the polymer.

Also, some polymers such as plastic are synthetic in nature and polymers like rubber are natural components.

Rubber vs Plastic

The main difference between rubber and plastic is that plastic is an artificial or synthetic product made through industrial resources whereas rubber is a natural product that is made from the rubber tree.


Comparison Table Between Rubber and Plastic

Parameter of Comparison




A polymer, Rubber is a material that is either acquired through natural means i.e. rubber plants or by using petroleum oil.

A polymer, Plastic is a material that has the power to be shaped and formed by the appliance of warmth and pressure





Two ways Rubber may be acquired is either from industrial/commercial methods or natural sources.

Plastic is created through industrial/commercial methods.

How it is produced

Rubber is created either naturally through rubber trees producing rubber latex or may be created commercially from petroleum oil and natural gases.

Plastic is created with the help of crude oil (by-product) as the beginning material.


What is Rubber?

A polymer and an elastic material, Rubber is either acquired through rubber plants or may be created commercially from petroleum oil and natural gases. Therefore, it can be said that there are 2 sorts of rubber namely, natural rubber and artificial rubber.

Rubber is incredibly famed in industries, thanks to its physical property, toughness, etc. as it is employed for the assembly of many totally different products.

These polymers (natural rubber) are made of isoprene and H2O in conjunction with other compounds. The key element of rather polyisoprene.

The rubber latex tree is the main source of Natural rubber which is usually whitish, milky and sticky. The rubber latex, found in rubber trees, is usually acquired through the elements close to the bark of the tree.

Natural rubber is prone to the process of hardening and strengthening rubber (vulcanisation) because of the presence of a covalent bond present within the polymer.

Vulcanization can be defined as the method of forming chemical bonds between a polymer chains with the help of sulfur as a chemical agent between them. The rubber then produced through this process is a lot stiffer, hard, firm and durable than natural rubber.

On the other hand, Synthetic rubber may be created commercially from petroleum oil and natural gases. They are usually created in chemical plants with the help of petrochemicals as their place to begin.

There are a large number of products that can be acquired from rubber. Some examples are rubber shoes, tires of various vehicles, waterproof garments, balloons, protecting gloves, and plenty of alternative things.

What is Plastic?

A polymer, Plastic is a material that has the flexibility to be shaped and formed by the appliance of warmth and pressure, known as its physical property. It’s an artificial polymer. The plasticity of plastic permits it to be developed into totally different shapes.

In Spite of these features, the lightweight becomes an additional great reason for it to be employed in the production of various instrumentation. Also, it contains low levels of denseness, allows electric currents, transparency, toughness and are durable with low levels of degradation.

There are large kinds of plastic polymers which are usually classified with regard to totally different parameters. Such as chemical and physical properties, their chemical structure, technique of synthesis, etc.

Few industrial necessary plastics incorporate polyethylene, polypropylene, PET, etc. Within the production procedure of those plastics, various chemicals are added to them.

Some of these chemical compounds that are added are stabilizers (to provide long period), fillers (to enhance the performance) and many more. Sometimes, dyes or colors are put so as to get attention-seeking colors within the end result. These outwardly added compounds are known as additives.

There are several uses of plastics in most fields such as medicines or drugs, clothing business, food and beverages for packaging etc.



Plastic and rubber are employed in the production of a spread of merchandise that we’d like in our everyday life.

Each of these compounds are made out of polymer materials. they need distinctive properties counting on their chemical structures.

The main distinction between plastic and rubber is that plastic is basically an artificial compound whereas rubber is often found as a natural compound or is often made as an artificial compound.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0536.1986.tb01147.x
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/rct/article-abstract/54/4/892/91515