How to Choose the Right Rubber For Your Application

Rubber has many applications due to its flexible nature. Depending on your application, you can choose a rubber to suit your needs. Some of the more common are listed below, with the main applications described so you can use this as a guide when choosing the right rubber for your application.

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 Natural/Isoprene

Natural rubber is a polymer of isoprene. This rubber is formed from the bark of the rubber tree Hevea Brasiliensis, which was originally found in Brazil but introduced to other countries. Isoprene has a similar structure to rubber. They are used for similar things as a result, although isoprene tends not to be as strong as natural rubber.

Ethylene Propylene Diene (EPDM)

This is a synthetic rubber that is also an elastomer. The material is very durable and strong. Its incredible density makes it an excellent choice for gaskets, hoses and other seals. It is also a very stable material, which makes it useful in applications that require heat resistance as well as items that will be exposed to the weather and oxidisation.

Nitrile Rubber (NBR)

This is a copolymer that is mostly used in sealant applications. As it is resistant to oil, it has many applications in the automotive industry, where oil resistance is a necessary characteristic of any material. It is also suitable for glove manufacture, including medical-grade and cleaning. These gloves tend to be three times more resistant to punctures than those made with natural/isoprene rubber.

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Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR)

This is suitable for applications where abrasion resistance is paramount. This synthetic rubber is used mainly for tyres, including standard car tyres and trucks. Its heat and crack resistance makes it eminently suited to this task.

Silicone Rubber

This has many applications, particularly for a silicone hose manufacturer. Materials made with this synthetic rubber can resist both hot and cold temperatures within a range of -80ºF to 400ºF. It is resistant to extreme weather conditions as well as UV and oxidisation. It requires curing during its manufacturing, which will impact on its characteristics.

Butyl Rubber

This rubber is suitable for use in applications requiring resistance to gases, water and steam. For this reason it is often used for roofing repairs. It is also used for gas masks and protective clothing.

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