Alternatives to Natural Rubber

Rubber is one of our most popular materials that we use (as you can see in our name). We like to use rubber because it is an elastic, durable, and waterproof substance that can be available to use in a variety of applications.

What some people may not know is that there are two types of rubber: natural and synthetic. Natural rubbers are tear- and abrasion-resistant as they tend to have dynamic flex fatigue characteristics. On the other hand, synthetic rubber is viewed as the superior option due to its thermal stability and resistance to factors such as oils and oxidizing agents, which is why we use synthetic rubber in the majority of our applications. These materials include Chloroprene, EDPM, Nitrile, and SBR, among others.

Aside from synthetic rubber, there are two other primary options that we use in lieu of natural rubber, which are silicone and thermoplastic elastomers. Silicone is a synthetic material that boasts a rubber-like texture that typically holds low toxicity levels and has high heat resistance. We use silicone in a variety of applications including cookware, adhesive materials, and electrical and insulation applications.

Thermoplastic elastomers, on the other hand, are a blend of plastic and rubber that has excellent thermal and elastic properties. We like to say that there are three distinct characteristics of any thermoplastic elastomer: elasticity, heat resistance, and absence of significant creep. The best part of thermoplastic elastomers is that they tend to use less energy to produce and are recyclable, which makes them one of the better environmentally-friendly options out there. We like to use thermoplastic elastomers in applications such as construction, medical, and automotives.

Request a quote on custom rubber extrusions, or contact us to discuss your project.

NW Rubber Extruders