NATURAL RUBBER – a Natural Treasure from the Jungle

If you browsed our website you might at least be a fan of paddling sports and probably know a thing or two about inflatable boats. However, few people know that the company Innova Kayak made by Gumotex produces its boats from materials that are not made from PVC but from natural and synthetic rubber.

If you browsed our website you might at least be a fan of paddling sports and probably know a thing or two about inflatable boats. However, few people know that the company Innova Kayak made by Gumotex produces its boats from materials that are not made from PVC but from natural and synthetic rubber.

Rubber is a polymeric material with a natural or synthetic origin. It is strong and highly flexible. It is able to substantially deform itself and the return to its original shape. This is called an elastomer.

Natural rubber is obtained from the tropical rubber tree (Havea Brasiliensis). After cutting its bark, raw rubber latex is extracted and then, after precipitation and other modifications, is stored for later processing.

Extraction of natural caoutchouc.

Synthetic rubber on the other hand may include various contents and is made by a chemical reaction of a variety of unsaturated hydrocarbons with added fillers, antioxidants, vulcanising agents which enable the following vulcanisation (i.e. a chemical reaction during which networking of synthetic molecules or natural rubbers occurs and this provides more flexibility).

Production and measurement of caoutchouc mixture.

Rubber in Europe has a long history. Natural rubber has been imported to Europe since approximately the mid-18th century. Although once mainly imported from South America, currently most natural rubber is produced in Asia.

The invention of vulcanization was crucial for wider use of the natural rubber (and later synthetic) and is usually attributed to the American Charles Goodyear in 1844. Vulcanized rubbers are the networking of synthetic molecules or natural rubbers with vulcanizing agents to provide more flexibility and durability. The first synthetically made rubbers were polyisoprene (in Germany 1909) and polybutadiene (in Russia 1910). The invention of styrene-butadiene rubber by German chemists in 1935 was also significant.

In the last century, we could find also toys and deckchairs in GUMOTEX portfolio.

As indicated by the name (Gumo means rubber and tex means textile), Innova Kayak’s parent company Gumotex first and foremost focuses on the transformation of these ordinary materials into extraordinary products. In its long-term history, the company has a wide portfolio starting with ‘gummed’ clothes and ending with ‘gum’ toys. The essential benefit of the company is, however, the fact that it is able to tailor the material to any customer according to their particular needs and requirements. This is thanks to Gumotex’s own development and laboratory research.

 Laboratories for testing new mixtures and their quality.

The most well-known products of Gumotex are definitely the already mentioned inflatable boats. Their proprietary material called NITRILON® is comprised of high tenacity woven fabric and a two-sided cover of both natural and synthetic rubber.

Innova Kayaks made by Gumotex are characterized by several key benefits for which we attribute particularly to rubber:

  1.  Durability - In comparison with PVC, from which most competing products are made, our materials maintain flexibility for a long time and do not crack. Therefore, you don’t buy a boat for two seasons but for many years.
  2. Compactness and lightweight - Even though most of us imagine durable products to be more massive and cumbersome, Innova Kayaks are space-saving and lightweight. You can put them in your travel backpack and set off for a journey to literally anywhere.
  3. Weather resistance - Did you happen to leave your boat made from PVC or an inflatable swimming pool outside after the season has ended? Was it destroyed by the first frost? With our boats you could even set off to the Johann Gregor Mendel Station Czech research station in Antarctica! Our boats endure temperatures down to -40°C!
  4. Ecology - Nowadays people think of how their behavior affects nature and everyone aspires to do their part for its protection. A tremendous burden on our environment is the widespread use of PVC material for manufacturing a wide range of products including a majority of boats. Phthalates are often released from PVC products and during combustion, poisonous dioxins that are toxic to humans are released. For this reason, Innova Kayaks are unique. The NITRILON® material used for their production is not made from PVC.

Thanks to their ability to be packed-up easily and their lightweight, INNOVA kayaks present an ideal choice for travelling.

Innova kayaks have far more benefits beyond their high-quality material. The many years of experience, innovation, and most importantly, people who have produced the boats for more than 60 years shows in every product. But this is another story for another time!

Image gallery

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  • Laboratories for testing new mixtures and their quality.
  • Laboratories for testing new mixtures and their quality.
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