Alternatives to Natural Rubber

Rubber is an elastic, durable, and waterproof substance used in a variety of applications. There are two types of rubber: natural and synthetic. Natural rubbers are tear and abrasion resistant, with dynamic flex fatigue characteristics. However, synthetic rubber is superior to natural rubber due to its thermal stability and resistance to oils and oxidizing agents. The majority of rubber used in applications is synthetic rubber.

Synthetic Rubber Extrusion Material Options

  • Chloroprene (Neoprene®) exhibits high water, flame, and weather resistance.
  • EPDM is weather and ozone resistant.
  • Nitrile (Buna N) is oil resistant, and therefore is an excellent choice for gaskets. 
  • SBR is a good general purpose rubber extrusion material, offering good abrasion resistance at low cost.

Aside from synthetic rubber, there are two primary alternatives to natural rubber: silicone and thermoplastic elastomers.

Silicone is a synthetic material with rubber-like texture that has low toxicity levels and high heat resistance. It is commonly used in place of latex in cookware, lubricants, and adhesive materials. It is also used in electrical and insulation applications. 

Thermoplastic elastomers are a blend of plastic and rubber that have excellent thermal and elastic properties. There are three distinct characteristics of any thermoplastic elastomer: (1) elasticity, (2) heat resistance, and (3) absence of significant creep. These materials consume less energy to produce and are recyclable. They are commonly used in construction, medical, and automotive applications

We are a leading custom extrusion manufacturer, whether rubber, silicone, or plastic. We can deliver short runs or products with quantities in the tens of thousands, with unparalleled service and on-time deliveries to meet your schedule. Request a quote on custom rubber extrusions, or contact us to discuss your project.

NW Rubber Extruders