EPDM synthetic rubber is the ideal material for creating outdoor flooring and industrial rubber parts due to its greater degree of weathering resistance compared to other elastomeric materials. Although, it is most commonly used in the production of industrial rubber parts, EPDM synthetic rubber is also used in other outdoor settings as well. As a case in point, this ozone resistant rubber is a popular material used in rubber flooring for residential, industrial, and commercial outdoor settings as it is able to provide long-lasting protection against weathering. In addition, EPDM membrane material is a common product used in roofing applications as it tends to have a longer life in abrasive environments. Furthermore, EPDM rubber parts, membrane, and flooring are all easy to install with the use of weatherproof adhesives.
What is EPDM Flooring?
EPDM flooring is a tire derived product, or TDP, that is made up of ground up tire crumbs that have been bonded together with an adhesive to create a solid sheet. Other times, speckles of 100% EPDM are added into the blend of rubber crumbs to enhance the material’s environmental resistance properties with some recycled rubber products having a 17% overall EPDM synthetic rubber content. According to CalRecycle, “Tire-derived products (TDP) can satisfy established technical testing standards for building construction, traffic control, paving and many other applications, while offering many unique performance benefits” (calrecycle.ca.gov). Recycled rubber is commonly used as outdoor flooring due to its EPDM synthetic rubber content, high tensile strength, and ability to resist degradation caused by damaging environmental factors. EPDM synthetic rubber is generally used for the production of industrial rubber parts, such as seals and gaskets; however, it is the superior ozone resistant rubber material with a high tensile strength allowing it to provide resilient and long-lasting flooring in outdoor settings. Commercial EPDM is best known for its superior environmental resistance properties as its “main properties are excellent heat, ozone, and weather resistance” (polyhedronlab.com). These properties of EPDM synthetic rubber allow it to provide long-lasting weatherproof properties that are ideal for outdoor settings. In addition, EPDM synthetic rubber is often regarded as a “crack-less rubber” due to its resistance to ozone-cracking and high tensile strength, which is the term used to describe the “maximum load that a material can support without fracture when being stretched, divided by the original cross-sectional area of the material” (Britannica.com). EPDM synthetic rubber is an extremely resilient material that is difficult to tear or break, even when it is put under extreme stress or pressure. This along with its superior resistance to UV rays, ozone, and oxygen, commercial EPDM will make for a long-lasting material used in the production of outdoor rubber flooring options.
Does EPDM have to be Glued Down?
It is sometimes required to glue down EPDM, such as in roofing and outdoor flooring applications; however, not all EPDM rubber parts, or flooring options have to be glued down. Because EPDM membrane is a thermoset membrane, they are “bonded together at the seams to form one continuous membrane” (Wikipedia.org). Then, the EPDM membrane is generally glued down to the roof using a latex or water-based adhesive (homesteady.com). EPDM roofing applications must be glued down due to the amount of weathering and abuse it will experience. Additionally, outdoor flooring containing EPDM, much like roofing applications, must be glued down due to the possibility of wet weather. On the other hand, industrial EPDM rubber parts, such as industrial seals and gaskets, do not need to be glued down. Industrial seals “are used to prevent leakage, hold pressure, and deflect contamination at…static and dynamic interfaces. Examples of static interfaces include the entry point of bolts and screws, and the interface between an engine block and cylinder head…Dynamic interfaces are typically linear, such as the seal between pistons and cylinders” (fastenerengineering.com). Instead of being glued down for installation, EPDM seals and gaskets are generally held in place by the pressure of the two joining surfaces. As a case in point, “Gasket depend on compression and their ability to conform to imperfections in the two surfaces to create a seal. Bolted connections are often used to provide this compression” (fastenerengineering.com). When used outdoors and in wet weather conditions, it is important to glue down EPDM derived outdoor flooring and roofing membranes to prevent the products from shifting or moving while in use.
What is EPDM Coating?
An EPDM coating is an extra layer of protection that is often, but not always, used on roofing applications that need extra protection against damaging environmental factors. For a damaged EPDM membrane “an additional coating removes the white spots across the surface of the sheet EPDM roof. The liquid material seeps into the cracks. In turn, this makes the rubber material whole and reduces tension damage.” An elastomeric coating is used to seal damaged rubber membranes to ensure reliable insulation and prevent leaks. For instance, “Supplement coating products are used to reinforce damaged or leak-prone problem areas” (Wikipedia.org). This ozone resistant rubber coating is also highly resistant to UV rays and oxygen allowing it to provide optimal protection in roofing applications. A roof coating is generally the, “topmost layer of protection for membrane, receiving the impact of sunlight (both infrared and ultraviolet (UV)), rain, hair, and physical damage” (Wikipedia.org). EPDM synthetic rubber is the ideal material for outdoor coating because it is the best outdoor rubber material being able to resist degradation caused by UV rays, ozone, moisture, and oxygen. Elastomeric coatings made of EPDM synthetic rubber cannot withstand heavy foot traffic, meaning they cannot be used to coat areas like walkways or patios.
Can EPDM be Installed Over Felt?
EPDM can be installed over felt, but it has to be done so with a polyurethane adhesive or with a metal strip that clamps the two materials together. Both EPDM synthetic rubber and felt are commonly used roofing materials due to their excellent resistance to UV rays, ozone, and oxidation; however, the addition of an EPDM membrane will prove to enhance protection against leakages and damage. EPDM membrane can easily be installed over felt with the use of a polyurethane adhesive. A polyurethane-based adhesive is the ideal adhesive for roofing applications due to its “high resistance to weathering and environmental influences; high resistance to aging and high structural strength; and high impact and shear strength “which are all important factors to have in a resilient and long-lasting roofing product (resin-expert.com). Other times, EPDM synthetic rubber can be installed over felt using a “termination bar”. A termination bar is a metal bar, often made of extruded aluminum that is used for “sealing membrane wall flashings to various approved substrates” (gentite.com). A termination bar is used when adhesives are not bonding the materials together. For instance, “Roofing felt is bitumen based and it can be difficult to get any sort of good bond to bitumen with anything other than a like for like bitumen product… [A termination bar] is basically a long strip of metal with a series of holes pre-drilled that clamps the EPDM membrane onto the roofing felt with a dedicated water cut-off mastic sandwiched in-between” (fixmyroof.co.uk). Generally, EPDM can be installed over felt, but when it comes to choosing between the two materials, EPDM synthetic rubber will offer better insulation and resistance against damaging environmental factors.
Can EPDM be Installed on Plywood?
EPDM can be installed on plywood; in fact, plywood is one of the best materials for EPDM installation. EPDM synthetic rubber must be glued down to the existing surface to ensure a sturdy application in the face of outdoor environments. Plywood in an ideal material for adhesives to hold onto, especially for EPDM bonding. For example, “If you are fitting a one-piece EPDM roof then you will need to glue it down, unless it’s ballasted or mechanically fixed…The trouble with this is that the glues used in rubber roofs do not like the presence of contaminants such as bitumen or asphalt. For good adhesion your roof decking will need to be clean Plywood or OSB [Oriented Strand Board] sterling board…” (fixmyroof.co.uk). The plywood should not have any splinters because it may puncture the EPDM membrane. Therefore, EPDM synthetic rubber can be installed on plywood that is free of dust or debris.
What Flooring Can be Used Outside?
Flooring made of tire derived products, such as recycled rubber and reclaimed rubber, can be used outside due to their high content of EPDM synthetic rubber and superior resistance against damaging environmental factors. Rubber naturally has a high resistance to moisture thanks to its high coefficient of friction. In addition, because recycled and reclaimed rubber variations are made of post-consumer tire crumb, they will not be harmed by the harsh effects of UV rays, ozone cracking, or oxidation. These ozone resistant rubber materials will not absorb moisture, allowing it to be used and left outdoors for extended periods of time. Furthermore, its resistance to moisture helps prevent the growth of harmful organic byproducts, such as mold and mildew, to promote a healthy environment.
Tire Derived Products
Tire derived products, or TDP, are ideal outdoor flooring materials because they are made of resilient and weather resistant post-consumer materials. Outdoor rubber flooring products are often made of crumb rubber which derive from post-consumer tires that have been ground into fine crumble. Often times, “Crumb rubber is used in rubberized asphalt concrete, paving applications, and a variety of other tire-derived products including synthetic turf infill and molded rubber products” (calrecycle.ca.gov). The EPDM synthetic rubber content in the composition of vehicle tires helps give them enhanced resilience towards damaging environmental hazards as well as physical impacts and abrasions. Tires are often built with a mixture of natural rubber and a synthetic rubber, most often SBR or EPDM synthetic rubber; however, a tire consisting of EPDM and natural rubber will be highly advantageous. For instance, “A tyre sidewall built using a blend of NR with ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) would be protected against attack by ozone and, having no need for antiozonant, would maintain its initial ‘new’ appearance and would thus be advantageous” (link.springer.com). Other times, tires made of synthetic SBR are also available; however, without the use of this ozone resistant rubber, tire manufacturers will have to coat the finished product in an antiozonant to protect the rubber from cracking when exposed to the ozone. Therefore, tire derived products, including recycled and reclaimed flooring products, are ideal for outdoor use.
How Do You Install Outdoor Rubber Flooring?
Outdoor rubber flooring should be installed using some sort of adhesive to ensure a sturdy and firm application in the face of abrasive environmental conditions. The best way to permanently install outdoor flooring is by using a polyurethane-based glue adhesive. A polyurethane-based glue is the ideal adhesive for outdoor usage because it is a highly weatherproof adhesive that will remain securely adhered to whatever surface even in the presence of moisture. For temporary outdoor installations, you may use double sided tape. This method of installing outdoor ozone resistant rubber flooring makes it easily removable which can be beneficial for easy replacements in case of any damage. The permanence of your intended application will determine which adhesive, or installation method, is best suited for your project.
This ozone resistant rubber is a popular choice of material chosen for the production of outdoor residential, commercial, and industrial applications due to its high degree of resistance against harsh UV rays, ozone, and oxygen. EPDM synthetic rubber is ideally and most commonly used to make EPDM rubber parts for industrial usage; however, it is not limited to those applications and is also popular choice in material for roofing and outdoor flooring applications. In addition, with its easy installation process, commercial EPDM can be securely fastened onto materials, such as felt and plywood. When it comes to outdoor applications, whether it be roofing, industrial rubber parts, or flooring, EPDM synthetic rubber is the best option for a reliable and long-lasting protection.