Synthetic rubbers are elastomers whose properties resemble natural rubber but also inhibit characteristics that surpass natural rubber. Synthetic rubber material is comprised of natural rubber and other components, which can include: plastic, petroleum byproducts or acetylene. Unlike its natural counterpart, artificial elastomers are capable of enduring much more elastic deformation under stress than most materials and can maintain its original size without permanent deformation. This is one of the many reasons why industrial and automotive manufacturers prefer synthetic rubbers to other elastomers.
One type of quality synthetic rubber is Santoprene 101. Santoprene 101 is a combination of natural rubber and polypropylene (plastic). The result of cross-linking these two substances together is a thermoplastic material that has the flexibility of an elastomer, but durability of polypropylene. In addition, Santoprene has the processing ease of thermoplastics that enables to be remanufactured and reprocessed with minimal obscurity. With an olefin base, Santoprene 101 rubber is also completely recyclable, making it a cost effective thermoplastic material with sustainability benefits.
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Santoprene 101 Sheet Rubber – A Premium Thermoplastic Material
ExxonMobil, a multinational oil and gas company, now owns Santoprene after Monsanto Company originally registered it in 1977. As part of ExxonMobil’s research on this quality synthetic rubber, the company has found many sustainability benefits. Since Santoprene is a 100% recyclable thermoplastic material, it will help reduce overall waste in the manufacturing process because the scraps produced during processing is completely recyclable. Other findings include: reductions in chemical usage because this elastomer does not require adhesives applications or coating, and energy reduction; unlike Santoprene 101 material, EPDM rubber uses double the energy. All these reductions contribute to decreased system expenses, which all manufacturers unquestionably favor (http://www.exxonmobilchemical.com/Chem-English/productsservices/reduced-system-cost.aspx).
Santoprene is arguable one of the best synthetic rubbers. It can be used in many different industries for all kinds of functions. Here is a brief list of some of the applications that this thermoplastic material is used for:
- Seals, Gaskets: One of the applications that the artificial elastomer is known for is its long-term ability to last in an application and its capability to be a high-performance gasket or seal. With good fatigue, temperature, and chemical resistance, this is one of the stronger synthetic rubbers that can withstand the many challenges that gaskets and seals are required to endure. This thermoplastic material can often be used as construction pipe seals or window gaskets because of its flexibility, as well as, high-performance competence.
- Medical Devices: When using medical instruments and devices, any type of rubber used must be able to withstand the temperature needed for the sanitation process. Santoprene is not just a quality synthetic rubber because of its flexibility and durability, but also because of its resolute temperature resistance.
Santoprene can withstand continuous temperatures up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and intermittent temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. With these capabilities, it is one most formidable synthetic rubbers out there.
- Skin Diving Equipment, wetsuits: The flexibility of the synthetic elastomer allows it to be formed into wetsuits and utilized in diving and swimming activities. Santoprene is an excellent material for these applications because of its unyielding defense against fluids, ozone and weathering. Due to its good resistance against UV rays and the ozone, it has long-term life stability, as well as, additional protection from weather damages.
- Windshield Spacers, Cable Covers, Air Duct Lining: For automotive applications, this quality synthetic rubber appears in many places. As windshield spacers, the rubber must be able to resist constant abrasive uses. Rubber that is under the hood should be able to last and undertake different chemicals that it may come into contact with. For air duct lining, the elastomer must also be able to survive the gases and chemicals that may past through. In the automotive industry, this elastomer is utilized a great deal because it can last about as long as the metal frame of the car, making it a trustworthy product to use for necessary long-term applications.
As one of the most multifunctional synthetic rubbers, manufacturers prefer this thermoplastic material to other substances because it is cost effective, sustainable and possesses the dual characteristics of elastomer and polypropylene. Santoprene 101 is a quality synthetic rubber with proven success. According to ExxonMobil, Santoprene 101 has set the industry standard for thermoplastic vulcanizates. The future of Santoprene is unknown, but have no doubt that it will continue revolutionizing how synthetic rubbers can be used in diverse industries.