This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
A decoction of birch bark is first prepared, the external bark by preference, being evaporated. The thick, black residue hardens on exposure to the air, and is said to possess the properties of guttapercha without developing any cracks. It can be mixed with 50 per cent of India rubber or gutta-percha. The compound is said to be cheap, and a good non-conductor of electricity. Whether it possesses all the good qualities of gutta-percha is not known.
A new method of making guttapercha consists of caoutchouc and a rosin soap, the latter compounded of 100 parts of rosin, 100 parts of Carnauba wax, and 40 parts of gas-tar, melted together and passed through a sieve. They are heated to about 355° to 340° F., and slowly saponified by stirring with 75 parts of limewater of specific gravity 1.06. The product is next put into a kneading machine along with an equal quantity of caoutchouc cuttings, and worked in this machine at a temperature of 195° P. or over. When sufficiently kneaded, the mass can be rolled to render it more uniform.