The most essential difference between plastic and rubber is that plastic will have plastic deform, while rubber will have elastic deform. In other words, it’s difficult for plastic to recover to its original shape while it’s much easier for rubber after deformation. The elasticity of plastics is very small, usually less than 100%, while rubber can be more than 1000%.
For most plastic products,they are completed after moulding process, while rubber needs vulcanization after moulding. In addition, generally plastic is made by injection moulding, and rubber is by compression moulding. For now, rubber also can be made by injection as similar principle to plastic moulding, but the cost will be relatively higher. Usually rubber mould costs 3~4 thousand while plastic mould cost is much more expensive, around 10 thousand. On the contrary, the price of rubber products is higher than plastic products. For example, it costs only a few cents for the plastic foot pad while few dollars for rubber material. The mainly reasons for the differences including: raw material price, moulding method, retrievability, etc.
Plastic and rubber are both belong to macromolecule material, which composed by carbon and hydrogen atoms, and also few other atoms such as oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, silicon, fluorine, sulfur. It has special performance as well as the application. At normal temperature, plastic is a solid and hard condition, which can not stretch for deformation. But for the rubber, it can be stretched longer and recover to the original state when stopped. This is due to their different molecular structures. Another difference is that plastic can be recycled and reused for many times, while rubber cannot be recycled directly. It can only be processed into reclaimed rubber before it can be used. The morphological features of plastics at 100 ~ 200 degree is similar to that of rubber at 60-100 degree.
In the developing of the industry, plastic products and rubber products both have a corresponding development, while the plastic develops earlier which has a more mature technology and industry, and the rubber is just developed recently, which is not as complete as the plastic. But with the development of technology and industry, the application of rubber field becomes more and more in our national industry.