What Are Erasers Made Out Of?

By Tom Jones
Erasers are made of many different ingredients.

Erasers are small, rubbery objects that are designed to remove graphite marks from paper. The first eraser was called "caoutchouc" and was invented in 1735 by a French scientist named Charles de la Condamine. It was not until 1770 that the name “eraser” was adopted because of its ability to rub away any marks from paper. Since then, the eraser has gained many other different ingredients that make it what it is today.

Rubber

Rubber is the most abundant ingredient found in erasers. It can be either natural or synthetic, depending on the type of eraser. Natural rubber comes from latex, which is produced by a tree called Hevea Brasilienesis. Synthetic rubber, on the other hand, is made up of a combination of many different chemicals including styrene and butadiene.

Sulfur

Sulfur is a very important substance in erasers because it helps the rubber become stronger and more resistant to heat. Without this, erasers would melt easily when exposed to direct sunlight.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is added to erasers because it softens the rubber and makes it flake away easily. This way, when the eraser is rubbed on a piece of paper, the dirty rubber is left behind and discarded.

Other Ingredients

Some erasers have different ingredients in them that make them perform a wider variety of functions. For example, to remove stronger marks such as ink, pumice is added to the rubber to make it more stiff and abrasive. All erasers also include some type of pigment to determine their color. White is produced by adding a zinc titanium oxide, and red is produced with an iron oxide.

About the Author

Tom Jones has been writing since 2007. He served as a reporter for his university newspaper and as a writing coach for his university's writing assistance center. Jones received a bachelor's degree in business from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.