Neither TPO nor EPDM is better than the other because they each retain similar resistance properties to outdoor damaging factors. Both elastomers excellent outdoor rubber materials with ideal resistance against UV rays, ozone, and oxidation. As a fluoroelastomer, TPO is able to withstand higher temperatures than sheet EPDM; however, EPDM products are still able to withstand extreme heat, making them ideal for industrial applications. Due to both materials’ excellent outdoor life, they are both common materials used in roofing applications. Despite their similarities, TPO and EPDM rolls are generally used for different types of applications. TPO products are often used to create extruded goods while sheet EPDM is generally used to create industrial rubber parts, such as seals and gaskets. Therefore, TPO and EPDM products are each the superior material for different types of applications.
1. Which is Better TPO or EPDM?
There is no one better elastomer between TPO and EPDM because they each hold different resistance properties and are often used for different applications. Both TPO and sheet EPDM are highly resilient materials that stand up well against UV radiation, ozone, and oxidation. TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, refers to “polymer/filler blends usually consisting of some fraction of a thermoplastic, and elastomer or rubber, and usually a filler” (Wikipedia.org). Sheet EPDM is a common elastomer used in the production of TPO due to its ability to be an excellent outdoor rubber. The properties of TPO include resistance “to acids and bases and are available in UV resistant grades for outdoor applications. The main advantages are excellent abrasion resistance, high heat stability, wide use temperature, low-temperature flexibility…” (intechopen.com). Sheet EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene monomer, is made by cross-linking of a blend of chemicals including ethylene, propylene, and diene monomers. These chemical compounds give sheet EPDM excellent resistance against damaging environmental factors, such as UV rays, ozone, and oxygen. In addition, TPO will have a wider operating temperature range than sheet EPDM. Case in point, “Thermoplastic polyolefin elastomers provide an excellent balance of performance and price. Their service temperature range is from -60 to 275F ( -50 to 135C)” (intechopen.com). On the other hand, sheet EPDM have a slightly smaller operating temperature range of -40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, unlike sheet EPDM, TPO retains “inherent chemical resistance properties and can endure most animal fats, vegetable oils, microbial attack and some acids” (roofingcontractor.com). The two materials also differ in the types of applications in which they are commonly used. TPO compounds are generally used for “automotive applications like extruded and molded goods, wire and cable, film applications, medical goods, adhesives, footwear, and foams” (intechopen.com). Sheet EPDM, contrastingly, are best used in outdoor or industrial settings due to their superior resistance to damaging environmental factors. Therefore, neither TPO nor EPDM is better than the other because both TPO and EPDM products are each better suitable for separate applications.
Is TPO Better than EPDM?
Overall, TPO is not better than EPDM, but it does retain a wider operating temperature range than EPDM. TPO has an operating temperature range of -60 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit whereas sheet EPDM has an operating temperature range of -40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Both elastomers are highly resistant against damaging environmental factors; however, TPO products will be more resistant against “most animal fats, vegetable oils, microbial attacks, and some acids” compared to EPDM products (roofingcontractor.com). TPO is made up of three main building blocks: thermoplastics, fillers, and elastomers. Popular elastomers used in the production of TPO “include ethylene propylene rubber (EPR), EPDM (EP-diene rubber), ethylene-octene (EO), ethylbenzene (EB), and styrene ethylene butadiene styrene” (Wikipedia.org). This outdoor rubber is a popular, if not the most common, elastomer used in the production of TPO. TPO “contains more than twice the polymer and less than half the filler of EPDM, which makes it chemically resistant to the same types of materials as EPDM. The low filler content ensures very low water transmission and enhances long-term performance” (roofingcontractor.com). Currently, many TPO’s are available with fiberglass to help boost its physical strength even more. Contrastingly, EPDM is an extremely tear resistant material with a high tensile strength; therefore, despite the difference in resistance properties, TPO and EPDM products are both commonly used in roofing applications.
Is TPO More Expensive than EPDM?
TPO is more expensive than EPDM because it is able to last longer than EPDM. Oftentimes, fiberglass is added into the TPO material to give it better durability and longer life. Not only that, but TPO also has a more cost-efficient installation process—in addition to its energy-saving insulation. Pound for pound, TPO typically costs less to install than EPDM, and—once installed—TPO products usually last longer than those made of EPDM. Both TPO and EPDM products are highly resistant to outdoor environments; however, TPO is often more expensive than EPDM because of the advantages it has when used in certain outdoor applications. Per square foot of material, TPO is slightly more expensive than EPDM. When it comes to sheet EPDM materials, prices are slightly less per square foot of material. Additionally, the average life expectancy for TPO, 7 to 20 years, is much longer than EPDM, which has the average life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. The expected weather conditions within which your product will operate should determine which material you choose. But, despite their differences, both TPO and EPDM are excellent outdoor materials that are designed to last, even when they are left in the outdoors for extended periods of time.
Is TPO the Same as EPDM?
TPO is not the same as EPDM, but EPDM is a common ingredient used in its production. They both have similar resistance properties against outdoor damaging factors, such as UV rays, ozone, and oxidation, making both TPO and sheet EPDM long-lasting materials. However, despite these similarities, there are quite a few properties that differentiate one from the other. For instance, TPO has a higher temperature range as it is able to withstand temperatures of up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit whereas sheet EPDM can only withstand temperatures of up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, TPO is a UV resistant elastomer that is generally used to make molded or extruded products. On the other hand, sheet EPDM is the superior outdoor rubber material that is often used to create industrial rubber parts for outdoor settings. Furthermore, although both elastomers are highly resistant to chemicals, TPO is better resistant to oil and will not be damaged when coming into contact with it whereas EPDM would swell.
What is the Difference Between EPR and EPDM?
The difference between EPR and EPDM can be seen through their different levels of heat resistance. EPR is a very similar synthetic elastomer to sheet EPDM and is used in many of the same applications, such as weatherstripping and thermal insulation. For instance, “EPDM is considered a valuable elastomer due to its useful chemical and physical properties; it is resistant to heat, oxidation, ozone, and the weather (owing to its stable, saturated backbone) …” (Wikipedia.org). This UV resistant elastomer is also a heat resistant material; however, EPR has a slightly higher tolerance to higher temperatures. EPR can withstand temperatures of up to 266 degrees Fahrenheit. Contrastingly, sheet EPDM has a slightly lower tolerance with a high temperature tolerance of up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the difference in temperature resistance EPR and EPDM rolls are very similar synthetic elastomers. For example, “EPDM manufacture uses the same monomers as polyethylene and polypropylene, the ethylene and propylene monomers are randomly combined to yield a rubbery, stable polymer…A third, non-conjugated diene monomer can be terpolymerized in a controlled manner to maintain a saturated backbone structure ready for vulcanization or polymer modification” (Wikipedia.org). TPO, much like sheet EPDM, is also a UV resistant elastomer that is able to provide a long-lasting application in the outdoors without worry of damage.
What is the Difference Between EPDM and FKM?
EPDM and FKM differ in the sense that one is a synthetic elastomer whereas the other is a fluoroelastomer. Each UV resistant elastomer are highly durable materials that have the ability to withstand damaging environmental factors and industrial chemicals. FKM, also known as fluoroelastomers, fluorocarbons, or Viton, are highly resilient materials that are resistant to aging, ozone, UV rays, oils, heat, and caustic chemical solvents. Sheet EPDM is also very resistant to most chemical solvents, UV rays, ozone, and heat, but it is not resistant to oils or gasoline like FKM. Fluoroelastomers are generally used in applications that are too abrasive for even synthetic elastomers. For instance, “Fluoroelastomers have excellent heat and flame resistance, and outstanding resistance to aging, ozone, oxidizers, oils, and many chemicals… [they are] only used when the components have to withstand especially harsh environments” (polymerdatabase.com). Although both elastomers are highly resistant to heat, FKM has a slightly broader operating temperature range. FKM has an operating temperature range of -5 to +445 degrees Fahrenheit whereas sheet EPDM has an operating temperature range of -40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (polymerdatabase.com). Despite these differences in properties, FKM and EPDM rolls are highly resilient materials that retain high tensile strengths and low compressions sets, giving them a high degrees of tear resistance under extreme stress allowing them to be excellent outdoor rubber materials.
Sheet EPDM and TPO are highly weatherproof materials that are both commonly used for roofing applications. Although they have similar environmental resistance properties, TPO differs from sheet EPDM. For instance, TPO is considered a fluoroelastomer, which are resilient elastomers that are used in abrasive applications synthetic rubber cannot withstand. Due to these resilient properties, TPO is often used for roofing applications or for producing extruded or molded products. On the other hand, sheet EPDM is known for being the superior outdoor rubber material and is generally used in the production of industrial or outdoor rubber parts, such as seals and gaskets. Overall, TPO and EPDM products are resilient and long-lasting materials that will offer durable applications in outdoor settings.