Business: First Buna Plant

The Army & Navy Munitions Board would have one less strategic material to worry about if U. S. industry could manufacture a cheap and reliable substitute for rubber. For 97% of the U. S.'s crude rubber (1939 imports 497,212 long tons) comes over 10,000 miles of sea from the Middle East, where commerce raiders might romp in wartime.

For such specialty products as gaskets, fuel hoses, heavy-duty wire insulation, U. S. industry is already making synthetic rubbers. They cost more than natural rubber, but surpass it in resistance to oil, oxidation, sunlight, acids. Notable...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!