Synthetic Rubber - Buyer's Guide
Synthetic rubber is a polymer manufactured artificially from monomers such as isoprene, chloroprene, isobutylene, and 1,3-butadiene. Its constituents make it better than natural rubber in chemical, physical and mechanical properties. The proportion and purity of monomers can be controlled to produce synthetic rubber of desired properties.
Types of synthetic rubber
Following are some of the common synthetic rubbers with the ISO standard code:
- Acrylic rubber(ACM): is resistant to aliphatic hydrocarbon fuels, oxidation, sunlight and water. It is used in automotive pipes and hoses.
- Butyl rubber (IIR): exhibits impermeability to air/gases, resistance to aging, ozone, chemicals and abrasion, and electric insulation. It is used to make various items - chewing gum, fuel additive, cling film, personal care products, adhesives, agricultural chemicals, sealants, electrical fluids and insulation, lubricants, paper, sports equipment, and polymerization processes.
- Bromobutyl (BIIR): synthetic rubber is used in inner lining of tires, medical equipment, and heat resistant tubes.
- Styrene butadiene rubber or Buna-S (SBR): is resistant to heat, age and abrasion; has low elasticity and less tolerance to low temperatures. It is an excellent electrical insulation material and is used to make treads and carcasses, seals, conveyor belts, and technical rubber products.
- Buna CB (BR): is blended with SBR or NR for use, is abrasion-resistant, has good elasticity, and is flexible at low temperatures. It is used to make tires, conveyor belts, clutches, engine bearings, and drinking water seals.
- Choloroprene or neoprene (CR): is flame retardant, resistant to grease, oil, aging, and abrasion. It is used to make conveyor belts, drive belts, clutches, cables, pneumatic suspension systems and similar products.
- Hypalon (CSM): is resistant to extreme temperatures, chemicals, and ultraviolet rays. This synthetic rubber is used in making folding kayaks, inflatable boats and roofing materials.
- Epicholorhydrin (ECO): is highly reactive and is used to produce plastics, glycerol, resins, elastomers, and epoxy glues.
- Nordel (EPDM): synthetic rubber has high extendibility, good shape retention and high resistance to heat, oxidation, ozone, and aging. It is used in seals, glass-run channels, hoses, electrical insulation, roofing membrane, thermoplastic vulcanisates, and motor oil additive applications.
- Viton or Kalrez or Fluore l (FKM): is a fluoropolymer synthetic rubber used to make O-rings, molded and extruded goods.
- Fluoro silicone (FVQM): synthetic rubber is highly resistant to oil, grease, weathering, and oxidation. It is used to make molding material, gaskets, O-rings, extrusions, tubing, seals, and sponges.
- Isoprene rubber (IR): is similar to natural rubber but more uniform, cleaner, and transparent. It is used to make construction sections, cooling and heating hoses for vehicles, high-performance tires, and food grade utensils.
- Silicone rubber (SI): is inert, resistant to extreme temperatures, and easily shaped. It is used to make kitchen products, apparel, automotive applications, footwear, electronic appliances, medical equipment, home repair products, and hardware.
- Nitrile rubber or Buna-N (NBR): synthetic rubber is oil, fuel and abrasion resistant with good heat distortion temperature properties. It is used in motor vehicle parts, oil and fuel hoses, plates, mats, rollers, seals for foodstuffs, cables, and roofing.
- Polyurethane (PU): synthetic rubber comes in various densities, hardness and stiffness. Polyurethane foam is used in seats, insulation panels, seals, gaskets, and wheels. Other applications are in tires, suspension bushings, Spandex fibers, carpet underlay, adhesives, and hard plastic parts.
- Styrene Ethylene Butylene Styrene (SEBS): is used in roofing, paving, sealing, and waterproofing applications.
- Carboxylated nitrile (XNBR): synthetic rubber is resistant to abrasion, impact, tears, vegetable oils, and gases and fuels. It is used in retreading blends for tires, high abrasion resistance shoes, O-rings, V-belts, printing rolls and other technical goods.
- Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE): imparts greater resilience and shock absorption to adhesives and coating materials.
Synthetic rubber is being used in an increasing number of applications. It is more suitable than natural rubber that is available only in limited quantities.