Rubber is a beautifully versatile stretchy material that’s both strong and flexible. Whether natural or synthetic, rubber is used in so many applications thanks to its properties and durability. Here are some of the different types of rubber as it doesn’t just come in one variety!
This is the most commonly known type of rubber, the one that comes directly from the tree sap of the rubber tree. It is otherwise known as Isoprene and comes from the latex sap of the rubber tree. It has great strength and is brilliantly resistant to wear and tear. It is not so great in exposure to high temperatures or strong light. Natural rubber is commonly used in gaskets, seals and hoses.
This is a less well known rubber type but is ideal for use in shock absorption. It is also pretty much resistant against everything, including chemicals, age, ozone, heat, light and abrasion. Butyl is resistant to breaking down in hydraulic fluid and is also a good electrical insulator, hence its application in vacuum sealing and sealants.
Neoprene has a special use as it boasts qualities that other rubber types don’t. As it has good resistance to petroleum and weather conditions, it can be used in harsh environments where other rubbers might fail. It doesn’t flex and crack and is commonly found in appliance seals, such as those found in freezers. For more information on Meadex Rubber Moulding, visit a site like Meadex. They offer Meadex Rubber Moulding services for any rubber component.
As a type of rubber, silicone is perfect for applications that involve petroleum, steam and water. It can handle a range of extreme temperatures but is susceptible to tearing and has low tensile strength. The main benefit of silicone is its chemical inertness which makes it ideal for use in the medical and food industries.
For the production of seals, this is the industry’s favoured rubber. It holds brilliant resistance to substances like petroleum, silicone grease, hydraulic fluids, alcohols, fuel and water. With a high tensile strength and super durability, it’s clear to see why nitrile is such a popular choice for making seals. It is also very economical to produce.
The only downside of the impressive nitrile type of rubber is that it has low resistance to automotive brake fluid and hydraulic fluids containing phosphate. Hydrogenated nitrile solves these issues. It offers improved chemical resistance and can take higher temperatures. It doesn’t have great flame resistance or electrical insulation properties so is predominantly used by the automotive industry.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)
Another versatile rubber, EPDM is an economical alternative to using silicone. It has good tensile strength, doesn’t tear easily and performs well in heat and weather conditions. Thanks to its low electrical conductivity, it is used in electronic insulation and also across a wide range of heating and air conditioning units and in the automotive industry.
As you can see, there are many varieties of rubber, all with slightly different properties making them suitable for a wide range of applications across the industry.