The term “tough” is often used to describe something as being long-lasting and resilient when faced with unfavorable conditions. Because there are so many types of rubber, we will focus on the common characteristics that help define rubber as being tough.
Durability is a common characteristic of rubber products. Highly durable rubber resists damage and degradation from abrasive forces that could cause tearing. Durable rubber also exhibits resistance to impact, extreme temperatures, and various liquids.
Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is a highly durable synthetic rubber. EPDM rubber exhibits excellent resistance to damage and degradation when exposed to extreme weather and temperatures. This rubber is valued across various industries, including HVAC and automotive. EPDM rubber is also helpful in electrical insulation products and o-rings. O-rings made of EPDM are resistant to sunlight, weathering, ozone, chemicals, and low temperatures. Polyurethane is another rubber well known for its all-around durability and toughness.
Another common characteristic of rubber products includes their ability to return to their standard shape after being stretched or compressed. Rubber’s elasticity is due to its molecular structure. Stretching or compressing rubber causes individual molecules to be pushed or pulled temporarily out of alignment. The molecules return to their original position once the stretching or compressing force has been removed.
Butyl rubber (also known as isobutylene isoprene) offers excellent flexibility and one of the highest levels of gas impermeability. Butyl rubber is perfect for manufacturing sealants, sports balls, and inner tubes. Industries that benefit from the use of butyl rubber include automotive, sports, and leisure. Silicone is another rubber prized for its malleability, among other beneficial characteristics.
When exposed to heat, rubber contracts, unlike most materials that expand. This contraction is a direct result of rubber molecules responding to heat. When heat is applied to rubber, its molecules become tangled and twisted, causing it to contract. Once the heat has been removed and the rubber begins to cool, its original shape will return as the molecules return to their normative state.
Fluorosilicone rubber (FVMQ) is highly resistant to lubricants, oils, and extreme temperatures. These characteristics make FVQM perfect for highly specialized industrial applications such as the material used in aircraft fuel systems. Neoprene is another rubber that can maintain its properties under temperature variations.
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Contact Sioux Rubber & Urethane, a leading urethane supplier, today for economical solutions that provide your industrial equipment with long-term protection and improve productivity. For high-quality rubber and custom urethane products that are tough to beat, contact us today to get a quote!