Until the beginning of World War II there was no need to select elastomers because only Natural Rubber was commercially available in large quantities and widely used. The use of elastomers in solving engineering problems was then restricted by the limitations inherent in properties of Natural Rubber.
Most of the synthetic elastomers that are used today, indlucing neoprene, SBR, nitrile and butyl were mass produced and became comercially successful between 1942 and 1945. After World War II, many more sythetic elastomers were developed to meet the demand of modern technology. Today more synthetic rubber than natural rubber is used.