Rubber is a versatile material used to manufacture an extensive assortment of goods. It is produced from both natural and synthetic sources and is available in several variations, each formulated to provide specific properties and benefits. This blog post will discuss some of the most widely-relied upon forms of rubber and the benefits associated with them.
What Are the Various Types of Rubber?
Whether produced using plant sources or developed synthetically using chemical processes, most rubber types share certain characteristics, such as elasticity, durability, and thermal contraction. However, rubber exists in several forms, each developed to feature unique characteristics to suit various application needs. The most commonly used types of rubber include:
- Neoprene. Also known as chloroprene, neoprene is an older type of synthetic rubber that features very high resistance to burning, degradation, and corrosion.
- Buna-N. Buna-N is an elastomer also referred to as nitrile rubber that is free from the allergenic proteins seen in latex-based rubbers. Buna-N delivers reliable structural integrity as well as resistance to compression set, heat, and wear.
- Fluoroelastomer. Fluorocarbon compounds are well suited to harsh and demanding environments as they resist temperature extremes and chemical exposure well.
- EPDM. Ethylene propylene diene monomer is a synthetic rubber compound that is highly durable to damage and temperature-related degradation. It also features excellent noise insulation properties.
- SBR. Styrene-butadiene rubber is a synthetic general-purpose elastomer featuring excellent hardness and durability. It outperforms many more costly synthetic rubbers in terms of water swell, abrasion resistance, and compression set.
What Are the Benefits of Using Rubber Material?
Due to the highly variable properties rubber types exhibit, the benefits they provide are numerous. Each industry favors certain types of rubber over others, depending on the needs of the application. Let’s take a look at the benefits rubber materials provide in various industries.
Oil and Gas
Elastomers work reliably in diverse oil well conditions and the challenging working environments seen throughout the oil and gas industry. Here, rubber materials resist high temperatures, high pressure, exposure to oil and natural gas in the ground, and other extreme environmental factors.
Rubber in agricultural applications protects against leakage while resisting chemical intrusion. It is commonly used to seal openings from dust, contaminants, and moisture. Rubber materials selected for agricultural applications feature resistance to ozone, oils, and UV exposure.
The medical industry relies on rubber types that are compatible with sterilization procedures. They must be able to withstand heat, steam autoclaving, and other challenging conditions. Rubber materials are highly suitable for medical applications since they can be continuously disinfected using heat without experiencing physical changes. Rubber is a staple product for various medical supplies, including drug-eluting devices.
The types of rubber used by the marine industry are highly resistant to strain and steam. They are also durable when used in environments that involve exposure to chemicals and oils. Rubber materials are highly adaptable for use with other metal bodies.
Rubber materials for off-road applications feature abrasion resistance, chemical and grease resistance, as well as an excellent ability to withstand petroleum and oil. They are sustainable in hot and cold temperatures and exhibit high tear strength as well as ozone resistance.
Choosing an Industry Leader with Astro-Tex
Astro-Tex is a proud supplier of industry-standard rubber products for the OEM market. Our full line of rubber solutions is easily engineered into existing products as well as new product developments. We specialize in supplying custom parts, in quantities ranging from prototype to large production run. Astro-Tex understands high-quality rubber solutions and delivers an extensive range of expertly crafted components that meet the needs of demanding industries. Learn more about our product offerings or custom part development capabilities by contacting us today.