What type of rubber should you use when you need a part that can withstand intense heat? How about constant outdoor exposure? What if you need chemical resistance? As the title says, there is an elastomer for every application. And while the possible chemical combinations that make up an elastomer are near limitless, elastomers can be broken up into general categories. Allow us to walk you through them.

Neoprene – Neoprene is what we like to call an “all purpose” rubber. It’s good for indoor and outdoor applications, and is resistant to most chemicals, oils, weather conditions, and just about any other challenge. For a wide range of applications, neoprene is your best bet.

EPDM – When you need a part that can withstand even the nastiest outdoor weather conditions, you need EPDM. In addition to being extremely resilient, it’s also resistant to heat and electricity. What’s more, despite all that abuse, it’s still resistant to color fade. For a durable rubber that won’t look like it’s taken a beating, stick with EPDM.

Nitrile (Buna-N) – A lot of chemicals have very strong smells, smells that can often times seep into rubber. Examples include aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum oils, mineral oils, vegetable oils and gasoline. If your part will be subjected to these polymers, have no fear—nitrile is built to withstand even the most fragrant of chemicals.

SBR – SBR is what we like to call an economically priced rubber. It’s a durable polymer with an affordable price point. And it boasts low water absorption properties to boot.

Natural – Natural rubber is one of the toughest elastomers around. With extremely high tensile and elongation properties, it’s resistant to both flexing and permanent set. On top of all that, it’s resistant to electricity as well.

Silicone – Do you have an application where extreme heat or cold is involved? If so, look no further than silicone. With a normal temperature range of 150 degrees F to 500 degrees F, it can withstand drastic temperature changes, all while retaining its flexibility.

Beyond the basics, rubber can be customized on a chemical level to handle the unique requirements of any application. For a more detailed breakdown of the rubber families we’ve covered here, see the chart below. To find the exact polymer best suited for your application, give us a call at 440-632-1691, or shoot us an email at info@universalpolymer.com.



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