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Rubber

Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, as initially produced, consists of polymers of the organic compound isoprene, with minor impurities of other organic compounds, plus water. Malaysia and Indonesia are two of the leading rubber producers. Forms of polyisoprene that are used as natural rubbers are classified as elastomers.

Currently, rubber is harvested mainly in the form of the latex from the rubber tree or others. The latex is a sticky, milky colloid drawn off by making incisions in the bark and collecting the fluid in vessels in a process called “tapping”. The latex then is refined into rubber ready for commercial processing. In major areas, latex is allowed to coagulate in the collection cup. The coagulated lumps are collected and processed into dry forms for marketing.

Natural rubber is used extensively in many applications and products, either alone or in combination with other materials. In most of its useful forms, it has a large stretch ratio and high resilience, and is extremely waterproof.[1]

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Hevea brasiliensis[edit]

The major commercial source of natural rubber latex is the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), a member of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. This species is preferred because it grows well under cultivation. A properly managed tree responds to wounding by producing more latex for several years.

Congo rubber[edit]

Congo rubber, formerly a major source of rubber, came from vines in the genus Landolphia (L. kirkii, L. heudelotis, and L. owariensis).[2] These cannot be cultivated, and the intense drive to collect latex from wild plants was responsible for many of the atrocities committed under the Congo Free State.

Dandelion[edit]

Dandelion milk contains latex. The latex exhibits the same quality as the natural rubber from rubber trees. Yet in the wild types of dandelion, latex content is low and varies greatly. In Nazi Germany, research projects tried to use dandelions as a base for rubber production, but failed.[3] In 2013, by inhibiting one key enzyme and using modern cultivation methods and optimization techniques, scientists in the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) in Germany developed a cultivar that is suitable for commercial production of natural rubber.[4] In collaboration with Continental Tires, IME began a pilot facility.

Other[edit]

Many other plants produce forms of latex rich in isoprene polymers, though not all produce usable forms of polymer as easily as the Pará. Some of them require more elaborate processing to produce anything like usable rubber, and most are more difficult to tap. Some produce other desirable materials, for example gutta-percha (Palaquium gutta)[5] and chicle from Manilkara species. Others that have been commercially exploited, or at least showed promise as rubber sources, include the rubber fig (Ficus elastica), Panama rubber tree (Castilla elastica), various spurges (Euphorbia spp.), lettuce (Lactuca species), the related Scorzonera tau-saghyz, various Taraxacum species, including common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz), and perhaps most importantly for its hypoallergenic properties, guayule (Parthenium argentatum). The term gum rubber is sometimes applied to the tree-obtained version of natural rubber in order to distinguish it from the synthetic version.[1]

History[edit]

The first use of rubber was by the indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica. The earliest archeological evidence of the use of natural latex from the Hevea tree comes the Olmec culture, in which rubber was first used for making balls for the Mesoamerican ballgame. Rubber was later used by the Maya and Aztec cultures – in addition to making balls Aztecs used rubber for other purposes such as making containers and to make textiles waterproof by impregnating them with the latex sap.[6][7]

The Pará rubber tree is indigenous to South America. Charles Marie de La Condamine is credited with introducing samples of rubber to the Académie Royale des Sciences of France in 1736.[8] In 1751, he presented a paper by François Fresneau to the Académie (published in 1755) that described many of rubber’s properties. This has been referred to as the first scientific paper on rubber.[8] In England, Joseph Priestley, in 1770, observed that a piece of the material was extremely good for rubbing off pencil marks on paper, hence the name “rubber”. It slowly made its way around England. In 1764 François Fresnau discovered that turpentine was a rubber solvent. Giovanni Fabbroni is credited with the discovery of naphtha as a rubber solvent in 1779.

South America remained the main source of the limited amounts of latex rubber used during much of the 19th century. The trade was heavily protected and exporting seeds from Brazil was a capital offense, although no law prohibited it. Nevertheless, in 1876, Henry Wickham smuggled 70,000 Pará rubber tree seeds from Brazil and delivered them to Kew Gardens, England. Only 2,400 of these germinated. Seedlings were then sent to India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Indonesia, Singapore, and British Malaya. Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia) was later to become the biggest producer of rubber. In the early 1900s, the Congo Free State in Africa was also a significant source of natural rubber latex, mostly gathered by forced labor. Liberia and Nigeria started production.

In India, commercial cultivation was introduced by British planters, although the experimental efforts to grow rubber on a commercial scale were initiated as early as 1873 at the Calcutta Botanical Gardens. The first commercial Hevea plantations were established at Thattekadu in Kerala in 1902. In later years the plantation expanded to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. India today is the world’s 3rd largest producer and 4th largest consumer.[9]

In Singapore and Malaya, commercial production was heavily promoted by Sir Henry Nicholas Ridley, who served as the first Scientific Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1888 to 1911. He distributed rubber seeds to many planters and developed the first technique for tapping trees for latex without causing serious harm to the tree.[10] Because of his fervent promotion of this crop, he is popularly remembered by the nickname “Mad Ridley”.[11]

Pre-World War II[edit]

Charles Goodyear developed vulcanization in 1839, although Mesoamericans used stabilized rubber for balls and other objects as early as 1600 BC.[12][13]

Before World War II significant uses included door and window profiles, hoses, belts, gaskets, matting, flooring and dampeners (antivibration mounts) for the automotive industry. The use of rubber in car tires (initially solid rather than pneumatic) in particular consumed a significant amount of rubber. Gloves (medical, household and industrial) and toy balloons were large consumers of rubber, although the type of rubber used is concentrated latex. Significant tonnage of rubber was used as adhesives in many manufacturing industries and products, although the two most noticeable were the paper and the carpet industries. Rubber was commonly used to make rubber bands and pencil erasers.

Rubber produced as a fiber, sometimes called ‘elastic’, had significant value to the textile industry because of its excellent elongation and recovery properties. For these purposes, manufactured rubber fiber was made as either an extruded round fiber or rectangular fibers cut into strips from extruded film. Because of its low dye acceptance, feel and appearance, the rubber fiber was either covered by yarn of another fiber or directly woven with other yarns into the fabric. Rubber yarns were used in foundation garments.

While rubber is still used in textile manufacturing, its low tenacity limits its use in lightweight garments because latex lacks resistance to oxidizing agents and is damaged by aging, sunlight, oil and perspiration. The textile industry turned to neoprene (polymer of chloroprene), a type of synthetic rubber, as well as another more commonly used elastomer fiber, spandex (also known as elastane), because of their superiority to rubber in both strength and durability.

Properties[edit]

Rubber latex

Rubber exhibits unique physical and chemical properties. Rubber’s stress–strain behavior exhibits the Mullins effect and the Payne effect and is often modeled as hyperelastic. Rubber strain crystallizes.

Due to the presence of a double bond in each repeat unit, natural rubber is susceptible to vulcanisation and sensitive to ozone cracking.

The two main solvents for rubber are turpentine and naphtha (petroleum). Because rubber does not dissolve easily, the material is finely divided by shredding prior to its immersion.

An ammonia solution can be used to prevent the coagulation of raw latex.

Rubber begins to melt at approximately 180 °C (356 °F).

Elasticity[edit]

Main article: Rubber elasticity

On a microscopic scale, relaxed rubber is a disorganized cluster of erratically changing wrinkled chains. In stretched rubber, the chains are almost linear. The restoring force is due to the preponderance of wrinkled conformations over more linear ones. For the quantitative treatment see ideal chain, for more examples see entropic force.

Cooling below the glass transition temperature permits local conformational changes but a reordering is practically impossible because of the larger energy barrier for the concerted movement of longer chains. “Frozen” rubber’s elasticity is low and strain results from small changes of bond lengths and angles: this caused the Challenger disaster, when the American Space Shuttle‘s flattened o-rings failed to relax to fill a widening gap.[14] The glass transition is fast and reversible: the force resumes on heating.

The parallel chains of stretched rubber are susceptible to crystallization. This takes some time because turns of twisted chains have to move out of the way of the growing crystallites. Crystallization has occurred, for example, when, after days, an inflated toy balloon is found withered at a relatively large remaining volume. Where it is touched, it shrinks because the temperature of the hand is enough to melt the crystals.

Vulcanization of rubber creates disulfide bonds between chains, which limits the degrees of freedom and results in chains that tighten more quickly for a given strain, thereby increasing the elastic force constant and making the rubber harder and less extensible.

Chemical makeup[edit]

Chemical structure of cis-polyisoprene, the main constituent of natural rubber. Synthetic cis-polyisoprene and natural cis-polyisoprene are derived from different precursors, isopentenyl pyrophosphate and isoprene.

Latex is the polymer cis-1,4-polyisoprene – with a molecular weight of 100,000 to 1,000,000 daltons. Typically, a small percentage (up to 5% of dry mass) of other materials, such as proteins, fatty acids, resins, and inorganic materials (salts) are found in natural rubber. Polyisoprene can also be created synthetically, producing what is sometimes referred to as “synthetic natural rubber”, but the synthetic and natural routes are different.[1] Some natural rubber sources, such as gutta-percha, are composed of trans-1,4-polyisoprene, a structural isomer that has similar properties.

Natural rubber is an elastomer and a thermoplastic. Once the rubber is vulcanized, it turns into a thermoset. Most rubber in everyday use is vulcanized to a point where it shares properties of both; i.e., if it is heated and cooled, it is degraded but not destroyed.

The final properties of a rubber item depend not just on the polymer, but also on modifiers and fillers, such as carbon black, factice, whiting and others.

Biosynthesis[edit]

Rubber particles are formed in the cytoplasm of specialized latex-producing cells called laticifers within rubber plants.[15] Rubber particles are surrounded by a single phospholipid membrane with hydrophobic tails pointed inward. The membrane allows biosynthetic proteins to be sequestered at the surface of the growing rubber particle, which allows new monomeric units to be added from outside the biomembrane, but within the lacticifer. The rubber particle is an enzymatically active entity that contains three layers of material, the rubber particle, a biomembrane and free monomeric units. The biomembrane is held tightly to the rubber core due to the high negative charge along the double bonds of the rubber polymer backbone.[16] Free monomeric units and conjugated proteins make up the outer layer. The rubber precursor is isopentenyl pyrophosphate (an allylic compound), which elongates by Mg2+-dependent condensation by the action of rubber transferase. The monomer adds to the pyrophosphate end of the growing polymer.[17] The process displaces the terminal high-energy pyrophosphate. The reaction produces a cis polymer. The initiation step is catalyzed by prenyltransferase, which converts three monomers of isopentenyl pyrophosphate into farnesyl pyrophosphate.[18] The farnesyl pyrophosphate can bind to rubber transferase to elongate a new rubber polymer.

The required isopentenyl pyrophosphate is obtained from the mevalonate pathway, which derives from acetyl-CoA in the cytosol. In plants, isoprene pyrophosphate can also be obtained from the 1-deox-D-xyulose-5-phosphate/2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway within plasmids.[19] The relative ratio of the farnesyl pyrophosphate initiator unit and isoprenyl pyrophosphate elongation monomer determines the rate of new particle synthesis versus elongation of existing particles. Though rubber is known to be produced by only one enzyme, extracts of latex host numerous small molecular weight proteins with unknown function. The proteins possibly serve as cofactors, as the synthetic rate decreases with complete removal.[20]

Production[edit]

Rubber is generally cultivated in large plantations. The image shows a coconut shell used in collecting latex, in plantations in Kerala, India.

Close to 28 million tons of rubber were produced in 2013, of which approximately 44% was natural. Since the bulk is synthetic, which is derived from petroleum, the price of natural rubber is determined, to a large extent, by the prevailing global price of crude oil.[21][22][23] Asia was the main source of natural rubber, accounting for about 94% of output in 2005. The three largest producers, Thailand, Indonesia (2.4 million tons)[24] and Malaysia, together account for around 72% of all natural rubber production. Natural rubber is not cultivated widely in its native continent of South America due to the existence of South American leaf blight, and other natural predators.

Cultivation[edit]

Rubber latex is extracted from rubber trees. The economic life period of rubber trees in plantations is around 32 years — up to 7 years of immature phase and about 25 years of productive phase.

The soil requirement is well-drained, weathered soil consisting of laterite, lateritic types, sedimentary types, nonlateritic red or alluvial soils.

The climatic conditions for optimum growth of rubber trees are:

  • Rainfall of around 250 centimetres (98 in) evenly distributed without any marked dry season and with at least 100 rainy days per year
  • Temperature range of about 20 to 34 °C, with a monthly mean of 25 to 28 °C
  • Atmospheric humidity of around 80%
  • About 2000 hours sunshine per year at the rate of six hours per day throughout the year
  • Absence of strong winds

Many high-yielding clones have been developed for commercial planting. These clones yield more than 2,000 kg of dry rubber per hectare per year, under ideal conditions.

Collection[edit]

A woman in Sri Lanka in the process of harvesting rubber.

In places such as Kerala where coconuts are in abundance, the half shell of coconut was used as the latex collection container. Glazed pottery or aluminium or plastic cups became more common in Kerala and other countries. The cups are supported by a wire that encircles the tree. This wire incorporates a spring so it can stretch as the tree grows. The latex is led into the cup by a galvanised “spout” knocked into the bark. Tapping normally takes place early in the morning, when the internal pressure of the tree is highest. A good tapper can tap a tree every 20 seconds on a standard half-spiral system, and a common daily “task” size is between 450 and 650 trees. Trees are usually tapped on alternate or third days, although many variations in timing, length and number of cuts are used. The latex, which contains 30–40% dry rubber, is in the bark, so the tapper must avoid cutting right through to the wood, else the growing cambial layer is damaged and the renewing bark becomes deformed, making later tapping difficult. It is usual to tap a pannel at least twice, sometimes three times, during the tree’s life. The economic life of the tree depends on how well the tapping is carried out, as the critical factor is bark consumption. A standard in Malaysia for alternate daily tapping is 25 cm (vertical) bark consumption per year. The latex-containing tubes in the bark ascend in a spiral to the right. For this reason, tapping cuts usually ascend to the left to cut more tubes.

The trees drip latex for about four hours, stopping as latex coagulates naturally on the tapping cut, thus blocking the latex tubes in the bark. Tappers usually rest and have a meal after finishing their tapping work, then start collecting the liquid “field latex” at about midday.

Field coagula[edit]

Mixed field coagula.

Smallholder’s lump at a remilling factory

The four types of field coagula are “cuplump”, “treelace”, “smallholders’ lump” and “earth scrap”. Each has significantly different properties.[25] Some trees continue to drip after the collection leading to a small amount of “cup lump” that is collected at the next tapping. The latex that coagulates on the cut is also collected as “tree lace”. Tree lace and cup lump together account for 10–20% of the dry rubber produced. Latex that drips onto the ground, “earth scrap”, is also collected periodically for processing of low-grade product.

Cup lump[edit]

Cup lump is the coagulated material found in the collection cup when the tapper next visits the tree to tap it again. It arises from latex clinging to the walls of the cup after the latex was last poured into the bucket, and from late-dripping latex exuded before the latex-carrying vessels of the tree become blocked. It is of higher purity and of greater value than the other three types.

Tree lace[edit]

Tree lace is the coagulum strip that the tapper peels off the previous cut before making a new cut. It usually has higher copper and manganese contents than cup lump. Both copper and manganese are pro-oxidants and can damage the physical properties of the dry rubber.

Smallholders’ lump[edit]

Smallholders’ lump is produced by smallholders who collect rubber from trees far from the nearest factory. Many Indonesian smallholders, who farm paddies in remote areas, tap dispersed trees on their way to work in the paddy fields and collect the latex (or the coagulated latex) on their way home. As it is often impossible to preserve the latex sufficiently to get it to a factory that processes latex in time for it to be used to make high quality products, and as the latex would anyway have coagulated by the time it reached the factory, the smallholder will coagulate it by any means available, in any container available. Some smallholders use small containers, buckets etc., but often the latex is coagulated in holes in the ground, which are usually lined with plastic sheeting. Acidic materials and fermented fruit juices are used to coagulate the latex — a form of assisted biological coagulation. Little care is taken to exclude twigs, leaves, and even bark from the lumps that are formed, which may also include tree lace.

Earth scrap[edit]

Earth scrap is material that gathers around the base of the tree. It arises from latex overflowing from the cut and running down the bark, from rain flooding a collection cup containing latex, and from spillage from tappers’ buckets during collection. It contains soil and other contaminants, and has variable rubber content, depending on the amount of contaminants. Earth scrap is collected by field workers two or three times a year and may be cleaned in a scrap-washer to recover the rubber, or sold off to a contractor who cleans it and recovers the rubber. It is of low quality.

Processing[edit]

Removing coagulum from coagulating troughs.

Latex coagulates in the cups if kept for long and must be collected before this happens. The collected latex, “field latex”, is transferred into coagulation tanks for the preparation of dry rubber or transferred into air-tight containers with sieving for ammoniation. Ammoniation preserves the latex in a colloidal state for longer periods of time.

Latex is generally processed into either latex concentrate for manufacture of dipped goods or coagulated under controlled, clean conditions using formic acid. The coagulated latex can then be processed into the higher-grade, technically specified block rubbers such as SVR 3L or SVR CV or used to produce Ribbed Smoke Sheet grades.

Naturally coagulated rubber (cup lump) is used in the manufacture of TSR10 and TSR20 grade rubbers. Processing for these grades is a size reduction and cleaning process to remove contamination and prepare the material for the final stage of drying.[26]

The dried material is then baled and palletized for storage and shipment.

Vulcanized rubber[edit]

Main article: Vulcanization

Torn latex rubber dry suit wrist seal

Natural rubber is often vulcanized, a process by which the rubber is heated and sulfur, peroxide or bisphenol are added to improve resistance and elasticity and to prevent it from perishing. Before World War II, carbon black was often used as an additive to rubber to improve its strength, especially in vehicle tires.

Transportation[edit]

Natural rubber latex is shipped from factories in south-west Asia, South America, and North Africa to destinations around the world. As the cost of natural rubber has risen significantly and rubber products are dense, the shipping methods offer the lowest cost per unit weight are preferred. Depending on destination, warehouse availability, and transportation conditions, some methods are preferred by certain buyers. In international trade, latex rubber is mostly shipped in 20-foot ocean containers. Inside the container, smaller containers are used to store the latex.[27]

Uses[edit]

Compression molded (cured) rubber boots before the flashes are removed

Uncured rubber is used for cements; for adhesive, insulating, and friction tapes; and for crepe rubber used in insulating blankets and footwear. Vulcanized rubber has many more applications. Resistance to abrasion makes softer kinds of rubber valuable for the treads of vehicle tires and conveyor belts, and makes hard rubber valuable for pump housings and piping used in the handling of abrasive sludge.

The flexibility of rubber is appealing in hoses, tires and rollers for devices ranging from domestic clothes wringers to printing presses; its elasticity makes it suitable for various kinds of shock absorbers and for specialized machinery mountings designed to reduce vibration. Its relative gas impermeability makes it useful in the manufacture of articles such as air hoses, balloons, balls and cushions. The resistance of rubber to water and to the action of most fluid chemicals has led to its use in rainwear, diving gear, and chemical and medicinal tubing, and as a lining for storage tanks, processing equipment and railroad tank cars. Because of their electrical resistance, soft rubber goods are used as insulation and for protective gloves, shoes and blankets; hard rubber is used for articles such as telephone housings, parts for radio sets, meters and other electrical instruments. The coefficient of friction of rubber, which is high on dry surfaces and low on wet surfaces, leads to its use for power-transmission belting and for water-lubricated bearings in deep-well pumps. Indian rubber balls or lacrosse balls are made of rubber.

Around 25 million tonnes of rubber are produced each year, of which 30 percent is natural.[28] The remainder is synthetic rubber derived from petrochemical sources. The top end of latex production results in latex products such as surgeons’ gloves, condoms, balloons and other relatively high-value products. The mid-range which comes from the technically specified natural rubber materials ends up largely in tires but also in conveyor belts, marine products, windshield wipers and miscellaneous goods. Natural rubber offers good elasticity, while synthetic materials tend to offer better resistance to environmental factors such as oils, temperature, chemicals and ultraviolet light. “Cured rubber” is rubber that has been compounded and subjected to the vulcanisation process to create cross-links within the rubber matrix.

Allergic reactions[edit]

Main article: Latex allergy

Some people have a serious latex allergy, and exposure to natural latex rubber products such as latex gloves can cause anaphylactic shock. The antigenic proteins found in Hevea latex may be deliberately reduced (though not eliminated)[29] through processing.

Latex from non-Hevea sources, such as Guayule, can be used without allergic reaction by persons with an allergy to Hevea latex.[30]

Some allergic reactions are not to the latex itself, but from residues of chemicals used to accelerate the cross-linking process. Although this may be confused with an allergy to latex, it is distinct from it, typically taking the form of Type IV hypersensitivity in the presence of traces of specific processing chemicals.[29][31]

Microbial degradation[edit]

Natural rubber is susceptible to degradation by a wide range of bacteria.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39]

from wikipedia

Box

Box (plural: boxes) describes a variety of containers and receptacles for permanent use as storage, or for temporary use, often for transporting contents.

Boxes may be made of durable materials such as wood or metal, or of corrugated fiberboard, paperboard, or other non-durable materials. The size may vary from very small (e.g., a matchbox) to the size of a large appliance. A corrugated box is a very common shipping container. When no specific shape is described, a box of rectangular cross-section with all sides flat may be expected, but a box may have a horizontal cross section that is square, elongated, round or oval; sloped or domed top surfaces, or non-vertical sides.

A decorative or storage box may be opened by raising, pulling, sliding or removing the lid, which may be hinged and/or fastened by a catch, clasp, or lock.

 

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Packaging box[edit]

An empty box made of corrugated fiberboard

A corrugated folder for pizza

Several types of boxes are used in packaging and storage.

  • A corrugated box is a shipping container made of corrugated fiberboard. These are most commonly used to transport and warehouse products during distribution, and are rated according to the strength of the material or the capacity of the finished box.
  • A folding carton (sometimes called a box) is fabricated from paperboard. The paperboard is printed (if necessary), die-cut and scored to form a blank. These are transported and stored flat, and erected at the point of filling. These are used to package a wide range of goods, intended either for one-time (non-resealable) use or as a storage box for the remaining goods.
    • A type of the folding carton is the gift box, used for birthday or Christmas gifts and often wrapped in decorative wrapping paper; this type is usually of much lighter construction than a similar-sized paperboard box meant for packaging and distribution.
  • A “set up” box (or rigid paperboard box) is made of stiffer paperboard, permanently glued together with paper skins that can be printed or colored. Unlike folding cartons, these are assembled at the point of manufacture and transported already “set-up”. Set-up boxes are more expensive than folding boxes and are typically used for protecting high value items such as cosmetics, watches or smaller consumer electronics.
  • A crate is a heavy duty shipping container originally made of wood. Crates are distinct from wooden boxes, also used as heavy duty shipping containers. For a wooden container to be a crate, all six of its sides must be put in place to result in the rated strength of the container. The strength of a wooden box, on the other hand, is rated based on the weight it can carry before the top or opening is installed.
    • A variant of the wooden box is the wooden wine box or wine crate, originally used for shipping and storing expensive wines,but nowadays for decorative or promotional purposes or as a storage box instead of for protection during shipping.
  • A bulk box is a large box often used in industrial environments. It is sized to fit well on a pallet.

Depending on locale and specific usage, the terms carton and box are sometimes used interchangeably.

The invention of large steel intermodal shipping containers has helped advance the globalization of commerce.[1][2]

Storage boxes[edit]

18th century German gold and mother of pearl snuffbox

Cake box

Boxes for storing various items in can often be very decorative, as they are intended for permanent use and sometimes are put on display in certain locations.

  • A jewelry (AmE) or jewellery (BrE) box, is a box for trinkets or jewels. It can take a very modest form with paper covering and lining, covered in leather and lined with satin, or be larger and more highly decorated.
  • A humidor is a special box for storing cigars at the proper humidity, by means of absorbent materials that retain and moderate moisture coming from the cigars. Powered boxes can also maintain the right temperature.[citation needed]
  • A “strong box” or safe, is a secure lockable box for storing money or other valuable items. The term “strong box” is sometimes used for safes that are no longer portable boxes but are installed in a wall or floor for increased security.
  • A toolbox is used for carrying tools of various kinds. The term implies a container meant for portability rather than just storage, for instance with hinged lids, clasps or locks, reinforced corners, and handles. Toolboxes are usually very sturdy, but unlike a shipping box containing dunnage, are not expected to fully protect their contents if the box is inverted or upended.
  • The common storage box for tools, instruments, glassware, artworks, etc. is a sturdy box made to be longer-lasting and better-finished than a shipping box or crate. For instance, a box might be a rigid paperboard box instead of a corrugated box. Or it could be a wooden box with a sanded surface and mitered corners instead of a crude crate construction. A storage box may or may not have dunnage or cushions that protect the contents if the box is upended or shaken, and usually does not have hinges, latches or locks, but simply a cover. Boxwood gets its name from its superior properties for manufacturing this type of box, although those properties are equally useful when making a decorative box.
  • A boxfile is used commonly in offices for storing papers and smaller files.

Electrical boxes[edit]

In electrical terminology, a “box” is used to contain and protect connections, thus:

Postal service boxes[edit]

  • Post box (British English and others, also written postbox), or mailbox (North American English and others) is a physical box used to collect mail that is to be sent to a destination. Variants of post boxes for outgoing mail include:

Boxes where postal workers deposit incoming mail for the recipient include:

  • Letter box (in the US usually called mailbox), positioned near or on the mail recipient’s home or place of work.
  • Post office box, (often abbreviated P.O. box or PO box), a box rented by the mail recipient to be an independent postal address, located in a post office or in the premises of a company offering such facilities. Self-service boxes are unlocked by the recipient, otherwise a postal clerk retrieves the mail.

A relay box is similar to a post or mail box, but totally locked; post office trucks deposit mail that is then retrieved and delivered by pedestrian mail carriers. In the United States, they are painted differently from collection boxes.

Booths that are sometimes called boxes[edit]

  • Call box
  • Police box, a booth for use by police in 20th century Britain.
  • Penalty box, a booth used in many ball-team sports where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty.
  • Signal box, a building by a railway to coordinate and control railway signals.
  • Telephone box, a booth containing a public telephone.

Other boxes[edit]

Library book drop box

  • Ammunition box metal can or box for ammunition
  • Ballot box, a box in which votes (ballot papers) are deposited during voting.
  • Black box, something for which the internal operation is not described but its function is.
  • Event data recorder, commonly called a “black box”, a durable data-recording device found in some vehicles, used to assist in the investigation of an accident.
  • Box, informal reference to large box-shaped parts of a computer, such as the base unit or tower case of a personal computer.
  • Check box, on paper, normally to check off as opinion or option.
  • Coach Box or the driver’s seat on a carriage coach.
  • Dispatch box, (or despatch box), a box for holding official papers and transporting them.
  • Kōbako decorative storage box
  • First aid box is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid to someone.[3]
  • Glory box or Hope Chest, a box or chest containing items typically stored by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.
  • Jack-in-the-box, a children’s toy containing a surprise.
  • Lunch box, or “lunch pail” or “lunch kit”, a rigid container used for carrying food. Can also be decorative.
  • Mitre box, a woodworking tool used to guide a hand saw to make precise mitre cuts in a board.
  • Nest box, a substitute for a hole in a tree for birds to make a nest in.
  • Pandora’s box, in Greek mythology, a box containing the evils of mankind and also hope.
  • Pillbox, a special container for storing scheduled doses of one’s medications
  • Set-top box, a device used to decode and display TV signals.
  • Singing bird box, an objet d’art which contains within a miniature automaton singing bird.
  • Squeezebox, a musical instrument
  • Female box is a vulgar referral to the entire pubic area below the stomach usually for large hipped females.

Notes[edit]

Toilet paper

Toilet paper is a tissue paper product primarily used for the ablution of the anus and surrounding area of fecal material after defecation and by human females for cleaning the perineal area of urine after urination and other bodily fluid releases. It also acts as a layer of protection for the hands during these processes. It is sold as a long strip of perforated paper wrapped around a paperboard core for storage in a dispenser by a toilet. Most modern toilet paper in the developed world is designed to decompose in septic tanks, whereas some other bathroom and facial tissues are not. Toilet paper comes in one-ply all the way up to six-ply, meaning that it is either a single sheet or multiple sheets placed back-to-back to make it thicker, softer, stronger and more absorbent.

The use of paper for hygiene purposes has been recorded in China in the 6th century AD, with specifically manufactured toilet paper being mass-produced in the 14th century.[1] Modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for roll-based dispensers being made in 1883.

During the early 14th century, it was recorded that in modern-day Zhejiang province alone there was an annual manufacturing of toilet paper amounting in ten million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper each.[1] During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD), it was recorded in 1393 that an annual supply of 720,000 sheets of toilet paper (two by three feet in size) were produced for the general use of the imperial court at the capital of Nanjing.[1] From the records of the Imperial Bureau of Supplies of that same year, it was also recorded that for the Hongwu Emperor‘s imperial family alone, there were 15,000 sheets of special soft-fabric toilet paper made, and each sheet of toilet paper was even perfumed.[1]

Elsewhere, wealthy people wiped themselves with wool, lace or hemp, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize, ferns, many plant husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs. In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick[citation needed]was commonly used, and, after use, placed back in a pail of vinegar. Several talmudic sources indicating ancient Jewish practice refer to the use of small pebbles, often carried in a special bag, and also to the use of dry grass and of the smooth edges of broken pottery jugs (e.g., Shabbat 81a, 82a, Yevamot 59b). These are all cited in the classic Biblical and Talmudic Medicine by the German physician Julius Preuss (Eng. trans. Sanhedrin Press, 1978).

A print by William Hogarth entitled A Just View of the British Stage from 1724 depicting Robert Wilks, Colley Cibber, and Barton Booth rehearsing a pantomime play with puppets enacting a prison break down a privy. The “play” is composed of nothing but toilet paper, and the scripts for Hamlet, inter al., are toilet paper.

The 16th-century French satirical writer François Rabelais, in Chapter XIII of Book 1 of his novel-sequence Gargantua and Pantagruel, has his character Gargantua investigate a great number of ways of cleansing oneself after defecating. Gargantua dismisses the use of paper as ineffective, rhyming that: “Who his foul tail with paper wipes, Shall at his ballocks leave some chips.” (Sir Thomas Urquhart‘s 1653 English translation). He concludes that “the neck of a goose, that is well downed” provides an optimum cleansing medium.[3]

The rise of publishing by the eighteenth century led to the use of newspapers and cheap editions of popular books for cleansing. Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to his son in 1747, told of a man who purchased

“a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them with him to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina; thus was so much time fairly gained …”.[4]

In many parts of the world, especially where toilet paper or the necessary plumbing for disposal may be unavailable or unaffordable, toilet paper is not used. Also, in many parts of the world such as India, people consider using water a much cleaner and more sanitary practice than using paper.[5] Cleansing is then performed with other methods or materials, such as water, for example using a bidet, a lota, rags, sand, leaves (including seaweed), corn cobs, animal furs, sticks or hands; afterwards, hands are washed with soap.

As a commodity

Le Troubadour” (French) – 1960s package of toilet paper

Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. Gayetty’s paper, first introduced in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was sold in packages of flat sheets, watermarked with the inventor’s name. Original advertisements for the product used the tagline “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet.”

Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which eventually were in common use in that country, in 1883.[6]

Moist toilet paper, called wet wipes, was first introduced in the United Kingdom by Andrex in the 1990s, and in the United States by Kimberly-Clark in 2001. It has been promoted as being a better method of cleaning than dry toilet paper after defecation, and may be useful for women during menstruation. It was promoted as a flucshable product but it has been implicated in the creation of fatbergs. By 2016, some municipalities had begun education campaigns advising people not to flush used wet wipes.[7]

More than seven billion rolls of toilet paper are sold yearly in the U.S. alone. Americans use an average of 23.6 rolls per capita per year.[8]

Description

Toilet paper is available in several types of paper, a variety of patterns, decorations, and textures, and it may be moistened or perfumed, although fragrances sometimes cause problems for users who are allergic to perfumes. The average measures of a modern roll of toilet paper is ~10 cm (3 15/16 in.) wide, ø 12 cm (4 23/32 in.) and weighs about 227 grams (8 oz.).[9] An alternative method of packing the sheets uses interleaved sheets in boxes, or in bulk for use in dispensers. ‘Hard’ single ply paper has been used as well as soft multi-ply.

Size

Manufactured toilet paper sheet in the United States was sized 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.[10] Since 1999 the size of a sheet has been shrinking; Kimberly-Clark reduced the length of a sheet to 4.1″.[11] Scott, in 2006, reduced the length of their product to 3.7″. The width of sheets was later reduced giving a general sheet size of 3.7″ long and 4.1″ wide. Larger sizes remain available. This variability in size has resulted in some issues with toilet paper dispensers.

Materials

Toilet paper products vary greatly in the distinguishing technical factors, such as size, weight, roughness, softness, chemical residues, “finger-breakthrough” resistance, water-absorption, etc. The larger companies have very detailed, scientific market surveys to determine which marketing sectors require or demand which of the many technical qualities. Modern toilet paper may have a light coating of aloe or lotion or wax worked into the paper to reduce roughness.

Quality is usually determined by the number of plies (stacked sheets), coarseness, and durability. Low grade institutional toilet paper is typically of the lowest grade of paper, has only one or two plies, is very coarse and sometimes contains small amounts of embedded unbleached/unpulped paper.[12] Mid-grade two ply is somewhat textured to provide some softness and is somewhat stronger. Premium toilet paper may have lotion and wax and has two to four plies of very finely pulped paper. If it is marketed as “luxury”, it may be quilted or rippled (embossed), perfumed, colored or patterned, medicated (with anti-bacterial chemicals), or treated with aloe or other perfumes.

In order to advance decomposition of the paper in septic tanks or drainage, the paper used has shorter fibres than facial tissue or writing paper. The manufacturer tries to reach an optimal balance between rapid decomposition (which requires shorter fibres) and sturdiness (which requires longer fibres). Compaction of toilet paper in drain lines, such as in a clog, prevents fiber dispersion and largely halts the breakdown process.

A German quip says that the toilet paper of Nazi Germany was so rough and scratchy that it was almost unusable, so many people used old issues of the Völkischer Beobachter instead, because the paper was softer.[13]

Color and design

Colored toilet paper in colors such as pink, lavender, light blue, light green, purple, green, and light yellow (so that one could choose a color of toilet paper that matched or complemented the color of one’s bathroom) was commonly sold in the United States from the 1960s. Up until 2004, Scott was one of the last remaining U.S. manufacturers to still produce toilet paper in beige, blue, and pink. However, the company has since cut production of colored paper altogether.[citation needed]

Today, in the United States, plain unpatterned colored toilet paper has been mostly replaced by patterned toilet paper, normally white, with embossed decorative patterns or designs in various colors and different sizes depending on the brand. Colored toilet paper remains commonly available in some European countries.

An unintended problem with the design of the laminated construction of the sheets in a roll is that, on occasion whilst un-rolling, separation occurs between laminations rather than at the intended interface. Perforations then become misaligned and sheets cannot be torn off cleanly. The problem is resolved by careful un-winding of one or more laminations until the perforations re-align.

Installation

Toilet paper is also used for spreading on seat before sitting

Dispensers

Main article: Toilet roll holder

A toilet roll holder, also known as a toilet paper dispenser, is an item that holds a roll of toilet paper. There are at least seven types of holders:

  1. A horizontal piece of wire mounted on a hinge, hanging from a door or wall.
  2. A horizontal axle recessed in the wall.
  3. A vertical axle recessed in the wall
  4. A horizontal axle mounted on a freestanding frame.
  5. A freestanding vertical pole on a base.
  6. A wall mounted dispensing unit, usually containing more than one roll. This is used in the commercial / away-from-home marketplace.
  7. A wall mounted dispensing unit with tissue interfolded in a “S” type leave so the user can extract the tissue one sheet at a time.

Some commercial or institutional toilet paper is wrapped around a cylinder to many times the thickness of a standard toilet paper roll.

Orientation

There are two choices of orientation when using a holder with a horizontal axle parallel to the wall: the toilet paper may hang over or under the roll. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference, dictated by habit. In surveys of American consumers and of bath and kitchen specialists, 60-70% of respondents prefer over.

Decoration

Toilegami refers to toilet paper origami. Like table napkins, some fancy Japanese hotels fold the first squares of toilet paper on its dispenser to be presented in a fashionable way.[14]

Recreational use

Main article: Toilet papering

Toilet paper has been the primary tool in a prank known as “TP-ing” (pronounced Teepeeing). TP-ing, or “toilet papering”, is often favored by adolescents and teenagers and is the act of throwing rolls of toilet paper over cars, trees, houses and gardens, causing the toilet paper to unfurl and cover the property, creating an inconvenient mess.[15]

Another popular activity is called “spitballing” or “wet TP-ing”.[citation needed] This involves wadding up a handful of toilet paper, soaking it in water or any other liquid and throwing it at a target, usually the ceiling. The wad of toilet paper is usually adhesive due to its moist state, which causes it to stick to the target for maximum inconvenience.

Mechanics

Alexander Balankin and coauthors have studied the behavior of toilet paper under tensile stress[16][17] and during wetting and burning.[18]

Toilet paper has been used in physics education to demonstrate the concepts of torque, moment of inertia, and angular momentum;[19][20][21] and the conservation of momentum and energy.[22]

Usage

Environmental considerations

One tree produces about 100 pounds (45 kg) of toilet paper and about 83 million rolls are produced per day.[9] Global toilet paper production consumes 27,000 trees daily.[23]

More than seven billion rolls of toilet paper are sold yearly in the United States alone. Americans use an average of 23.6 rolls per capita a year. The average American uses 50 pounds (23 kg) of tissue paper per year which is 50% more than the average of other Western countries or Japan.[24] The higher use in the United States may be explained by the fact that other countries people use bidets or spray hoses to clean themselves.[25] Millions of trees are harvested in North and South America leaving ecological footprint concerns.[26] Citizens of many Western countries sometimes use toilet paper for industrial purposes such as oil filters,[27] which may distort the use statistics.

As of 2009, between 22% and 48% of the toilet paper used in the United States comes from tree farms in the U.S. and South America, with most of the rest coming from second growth forests, and only a small percentage coming from virgin forests.[8]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

paper goods

A paper towel (or kitchen paper) is an absorbent towel made from tissue paper instead of cloth. Unlike cloth towels, paper towels are disposable and intended to be used only once. Paper towels soak up water because they are loosely woven which enables water to travel between them, even against gravity (capillary effect). Paper towels can be individually packed (as stacks of folded towels or held coiled) or come in rolls. Paper towels have similar purposes to conventional towels, such as drying hands, wiping windows, dusting, and cleaning up spills.

History[edit]

Early paper towels

In 1907, the Scott Paper Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, introduced paper tissues to help prevent the spread of colds from cloth towels in restrooms.[1] Popular belief is that this was partly accidental and was the solution to a railroad car full of long paper rolls meant for toilet paper that were unsuitable to cut into rolls of toilet paper.[2] In 1919, William E. Corbin, Henry Chase, and Harold Titus began experimenting with paper towels in the Research and Development building of the Brown Company in Berlin, New Hampshire.[3] By 1922, Corbin perfected their product and began mass-producing it at the Cascade Mill on the Berlin/Gorham line.[4] This product was called Nibroc Paper Towels (Corbin spelled backwards[5]). In 1931, the Scott Paper Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, introduced their paper towel rolls for kitchens; they are now the leading manufacturer of paper towels.

Production[edit]

Main article: Paper tissue

Paper is made from either virgin or recycled paper pulp[6] which is extracted from wood or fiber crops. They are sometimes bleached during the production process to lighten the paper’s coloration.[7] It is not uncommon for rolls of paper towels to include intricate colored images on each square (such as flowers or teddy bears). Resin size is used to improve the wet strength.[7] Paper towels are packed individually and sold as stacks, or are held on a continuous roll, and come in two distinct classes: domestic and institutional.[8]

Market[edit]

Tissue products in North American, including paper towels, can be divided into “consumer” and “commercial” markets, with household consumer usage accounting for approximately two thirds of total North American consumption.[9] Commercial usage, or otherwise any use outside of the North American household, accounts for one third of North American consumption.[9] The growth in commercial use of paper towels can be attributed to the migration from folded towels (in public bathrooms, for example) to roll towel dispensers, which reduces the amount of paper towels used by each patron.[9]

Within the forest products industry, paper towels are a major part of the “tissue market”, second only to toilet paper.[9] Consumption of paper towels and other tissue products is highest in the United States of America at approximately 24 kilograms (53 lb) per capita and year (total approx. 7.8 thousand tonnes (7,700 long tons; 8,600 short tons) per year), 50% higher than in Europe and nearly 500% higher than in Latin America.[10][11][9]

Environmental issues[edit]

Further information: Environmental impact of paper

Paper towels are a global product with rising production and consumption.[11] Being second in tissue consumption only to toilet paper (36% vs. 45% in the U.S.), the proliferation of paper towels has the same globally adverse effects on the environment as indicated in the tissue article. Better alternatives are still conventional towels or – for hand drying – hand dryers.[12][10] Dirt can almost as well be wiped up using old newspapers.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia