Assistance in Material Selection and Product Specification
Choosing the Right Elastomer
As a contract molder with over 60 years of experience, we have extensive knowledge in elastomer materials. Our team of experts will work with you to select the best material to meet your application and product performance specifications, and your cost and time to market requirements.
Listed below are the commonly used elastomer materials that Advanced Rubber Products molds. Over 75% of ARP’s products molded are not black and are available in a variety of colors at no extra cost. In addition to the materials below, we can also work with you and our suppliers to devise formulations for your unique requirements.
Butyl is a synthetic rubber, also referred to as isobutylene isoprene. Butyl rubber has a variety of uses and applications but its true value is its impermeability to air and gases. Butyl is also very resistant to water and steam, which is why butyl rubber is used in sealants for damp proofing, rubber roof repair and rubber membrane maintenance. First used as tire inner tubes, butyl rubber is now applied to sporting ball bladders, gas masks and protective clothing, vial stoppers, explosives, chewing gum and is even used as an additive in lubricating oils and motor fuels. The addition of small amounts of polyisobutylene in lubricating oils results in a significant reduction of oil mist inhaled by a machine operator.
Ethylene Propylene Diene (EPDM)
A synthetic rubber and elastomer characterized by a wide range of applications. The “M” in EPDM refers to the compound’s classification in ASTM standard D-1418. EPDM is a very durable, high-density rubber making it a preferred material for products like gaskets, hoses and seals. The rubber is extremely resistant to heat, oxidation and weather due to its stable structure.
Unlike silicone, fluorosilicone contains trifluoropropyl groups that enhance its chemical resistance to non-polar solvents, fuels, oils, acids, and alkaline chemicals. It is widely in industrial, aviation and automotive applications.
Natural / Isoprene
Natural rubber is a polymer of isoprene and has a molecular weight of 100,000 to 1,000,000. An organic material, sometimes traces of other materials such as proteins, resins and inorganic materials can be found in high quality natural rubber. Natural rubber is formed in the bark of tropical trees. Isoprene’s chemical and structural makeup is very similar to natural rubbers. Both can be used for similar applications although isoprene rubber has less green strength than natural rubber.
Neoprene (also polychloroprene) is a family of synthetic rubbers that are produced by polymerization of chloroprene. It exhibits good chemical stability and maintains flexibility over a wide temperature range. It is widely used in medical and sports products. Neoprene keeps its shape and does not chaff or deteriorate over time.
Nitrile Rubber (NBR), Buna N
Nitrile rubber, also known as acrylonitrile butadiene rubber, NBR, or Buna-N is a copolymer used most commonly in sealing products. NBR is extremely resistant to oil and is therefore used in automotive seals, gaskets and other products that contact hot oils and fuels. The more nitrile in the product’s composition, the more resistant to oil it becomes at the expense of flexibility. Nitrile rubber is also a very resilient material making it ideal for products such as cleaning and examination gloves. Gloves made with nitrile rubber are three times more resistant to punctures than gloves made with natural rubber or isoprene.
Silicone rubber is a polymer composed of silicon combined with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Materials made with this synthetic rubber are extremely resistant to heat and cold, being able to withstand temperatures ranging from -80ºF to 400ºF. Resilient and durable, silicone rubber materials resist prolonged exposure to sunlight, oxygen, ozone, moisture and UV light.
Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR)
Styrene butadiene rubber is a synthetic rubber that is more resistant to abrasion than natural rubber. It is predominantly used in automobile and truck tires as it stands up to heat and cracks and ages well. The higher the styrene content in the rubber, the harder and less flexible the product becomes.
FKM is the ASTM designation for a class of fluorinated, carbon-based synthetic rubber, commonly known as fluoroelastomer. Viton is a brand name trademarked by Dupont. It has high resistance to chemicals and oxidation, and a tolerance to temperature extremes while retaining its mechanical properties such as resistance to compression. It is commonly seen in O-rings and gaskets used in sealing applications in automotive fuel applications.
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