Natural rubber is a high molecular weight polymeric substance with viscoelastic properties. It shows all the reactions of an unsaturated polymer and gives addition compounds with halogens, ozone, hydrogen chloride and several other reactants that react with olefins.
An interesting reaction of natural rubber is its combination with sulfur— known as vulcanisation. This reaction converts the plastic and viscous nature of raw rubber into elastic. Vulcanized rubber will have a very high tensile strength and comparatively low elongation. Its hardness and abrasion resistance also will be high when compared to raw rubber. Because of the unique combination of these properties, natural rubber finds application in the manufacture of a variety of products.