Elastomer Materials Specification Sheet
At Elastomer Technologies, Inc., we pride ourselves on our ability to provide our customers with high-quality engineered products. Among our specializations are elastomeric materials, also known as elastic polymers or elastomers – any material that exhibits rubber-like properties.
Our skilled specialists, tested-and-proven processes, and multitudes of services guarantee that we can create a solution for any of your project specifications. Our fully-equipped facilities work with a wide range of elastomers for various applications.
Elastomer Properties & Applications
Listed below are the general properties of rubber or elastomers.
The working temperature of each elastomer type varies depending on factors like media compatibility and dynamic and static operations.
The degree of an elastomer material’s resistance against deformation is its hardness. Typically quantified in units of International Rubber Hardness Degrees (IHRD) or, more commonly, by Shore A durometer, the hardness of a material influences its extrusion resistance, friction, and slip effect.
Aging describes the material’s reaction when subjected to heat. For example, when an elastomer hardens, cracks, or splits, it is exposed to heat beyond its aging resistance.
Elongation At Break
A test of a material’s elasticity and elongation at break measures flexibility. An elastic polymer with a higher elongation at break has a higher flexibility.
Also known as abrasion resistance, tear strength refers to a material’s ability to withstand wear and resist tear propagation from the point of initial damage sustained during assembly. Mechanical stress includes rubbing, scraping, or surface-level corrosion.
Tensile strength measures the ability of a material to endure load or stress before breakage. The higher a material’s resistance to tension caused by mechanical stress, the higher its tensile strength.
A compression set measures the ability of an elastomer to return to its original dimensions when subjected to sustained loads over a period of time.
Elastomer Materials – Advantages, Limitations, and Applications
The following are the most common elastomer materials:
It is an elastomer compounded material with a cross-linking agent and reinforcement with good mechanical properties like elasticity, absorption, and tear strength.
Advantages: Silicone is an inert material with a low surface energy level and is widely used for products with human exposure. It applies to high-temperature levels and can withstand ozone, oxygen, and fungus.
Limitations: Its low abrasion resistance and poor tensile strength make it unsuitable for dynamic applications. It also makes bonding to other materials difficult, as it has poor resistance to most concentrated solvents, acids, and alkalines, as well as hydrocarbons, oils, fuels, and steam.
Applications: Silicone is an excellent material for food, medical, and dental products. The elastomer is also applicable for gaskets, seals, o-rings, bellows, and other industrial products and supplies.
EPDM stands for Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Modified and is a type of synthetic rubber.
Advantages: Using a sulfur cure system, EPDM offers high resistance to weather and heat aging, oxygenated solvents, electrical insulation, and similar factors.
Limitations: EPDM swells when in contact with petroleum oil. It also has an adverse reaction to aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons.
Applications: EPDM rubber properties have an above-average mechanical stress resistance, making them appropriate for static and dynamic usages like vehicle window and door seals, radiators, and HVAC components.
Butyl rubber, also known as Isobutylene-isoprene (IIR), is a synthetic elastomer.
Advantages: Butyl rubber can sustain damage from sunlight, oxidizing materials, ozone, heat, and many oxygenated solvents. It is also stress-resistant enough to withstand significant mechanical loads.
Limitations: Butyl is not suitable for use with flammable materials, such as petroleum, solvents, and aromatic hydrocarbons.
Applications: Butyl is best used for vacuums, tubings, and hydraulic applications.
Polyisoprene is an elastomer derived from rubber trees.
Advantages: Natural and synthetic polyisoprene are highly resilient, elastic, and abrasion-resistant. In addition, in low temperatures, polyisoprene has a high level of tensile strength.
Limitations: Polyisoprene is not appropriate for high-temperature applications. It also works poorly in outdoor applications, especially when sunlight, ozone, and hydrocarbon environments are typical.
Applications: Polyisoprene is used for medical, surgical, and dental equipment. NR is also applicable for industrial rollers, tires, condoms, footwear, and similar latex products.
Nitrile rubber is commonly called NBR (nitrile-butadiene rubber). It is a synthetic rubber produced from a copolymer of acrylonitrile and butadiene.
Advantages: NBR is an oil-resistant elastomer suitable for applications with frequent exposure to gasoline, solvents, and similar compounds.
Limitations: It has poor tolerance to outdoor conditions such as heat, sunlight, ketones, and hydrocarbons. It also has a low tear and abrasion resistance.
Applications: Nitrile rubber specifications are helpful for applications in the automotive industry, such as oil seals, o-rings, engine hoses, and more.
Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) is a synthetic general-purpose elastomer.
Advantages: Often used as a substitute for natural rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber is durable and resistant to abrasion and water damage.
Limitations: SBR does not age well in outdoor applications where sunlight and ozone are present, and it is also incompatible with oil, steam, chemicals, and strong acids.
Applications: SBR is recommended for dynamic applications and is commonly used in car tires. These include rollers, gaskets, and conveyor belts.
Fluorocarbon (FKM, Viton)
Fluorocarbon elastomers are highly fluorinated carbon-based polymers used in applications to resist harsh chemicals. FKM is its common term, and Viton® is a registered trademark for fluoroelastomer material.
Advantages: Fluorocarbon is a very resilient material. Its fluorine content makes it a suitable choice for applications where fire, chemical, fuel, or oil resistance is needed.
Limitations: Fluorocarbon has limited flexibility when required to operate at temperatures of -10°C. This material is more expensive and is not suitable for use in the presence of ketones and phosphate esters.
Applications: It is often used for valve seals, semiconductor component manufacturing, o-rings, and fuel tank bladders.
FVMQ is the standard industry term for Fluorosilicone, an elastomer composed of silicone polymer chains with fluorinated side chains.
Advantages: Fluorosilicone performs well in high-temperature applications and offers excellent resistance to oil and solvents.
Limitations: It has a low level of abrasion resistance, making it unsuitable for dynamic applications. In addition, Fluorosilicone reacts negatively with brake fluids, ketones, hydrazine, and similar compounds.
Applications: Fluorosilicone is an excellent choice for aviation fuel seals, aerospace fuel systems, medical tubing, automotive seals, electrical connectors, and air pump valves.
Chloroprene, also known as neoprene, is an older synthetic rubber type.
Advantages: Chloroprene is an oil and air-resistant rubber, making it a highly versatile material. It has excellent flame and abrasion resistance, especially in moderate temperatures.
Limitations: Chloroprene is an expensive elastomer with adverse reactions to oxidizing compounds.
Applications: It is used for gaskets, gasoline hoses, deviator pads, laptop sleeves, and more.
Natural Rubber (NR)
Natural rubber is obtained from the ducts or in the cells of rubber-producing plants.
Advantages: Natural rubber has high tensile strength, elongation at break, and abrasion resistance. It also has a low compression set that allows it to perform well in low temperatures.
Limitations: Natural rubber is a thermoset material that is difficult to recycle. Additionally, it has poor tolerance to oils and fuels and cannot be exposed to high temperatures.
Applications: Because of its strength and elasticity, natural rubber is used for tires, latex products, clothing, adhesives, lining bins, and flooring.
Polyurethanes are part of the plastic group or elastomeric polymers. Rubber is also a part of these polymers, making Polyurethane a two-component material. AU is polyester-urethane, while EU means Polyether-urethane.
Advantages: Oil, water, and grease-resistant, Polyurethane is a highly versatile material used for various applications. It has high-abrasion resistance and high-tensile strength, especially in low temperatures.
Limitations: Polyurethane is an expensive material to produce. It is also highly flammable and incompatible with most solvents.
Applications: Polyurethane is an excellent choice for refrigeration and freezer applications, insulation systems, liquid coating and paints, upholstery, and automotive applications.
Custom Compounded Elastomers
When it comes to elastic polymers, Elastomer Technologies, Inc. can provide you with custom compounded materials engineered for your particular needs. To solve your problems, we mix silicone compounds that will work well for your specific applications. In addition, we can also customize materials tailored to your required properties – from temperature range, abrasion resistance, color matching, and more. As a result, our return customers trust us because we consistently create the exact formulation across each production run.
Quality Elastomer Materials & Products From ETI
Since 1975, Elastomer Technologies, Inc. has provided our customers with accessible, high-quality, engineered parts. Serving various industries, we have extensive experience in producing materials used for medical & dental equipment, food & beverage, consumer products, and industrial and specialty applications.