Rubber material is everywhere! From the mat underneath your feet to the rubber pads which cushion the legs of your computer desk, synthetic rubber is abundant in everyday uses. It may go unnoticed, but it is there helping to seal or protect common objects around you.
What Is a Rubber Material?
A rubber material is one of the many materials out of which a rubber product can be made. Rubber materials are materials that have qualities mirroring those of natural rubber—either because the rubber material is natural rubber itself or because it is infused with natural rubber. Rubber materials include synthetic rubbers, which are amalgams of natural rubber and synthetic compounds. By and large, rubber that is synthetic is available in many different varieties. Synthetic elastomers are specifically engineered to possess characteristics that are ideal for certain applications. For example, some rubber lining would be useful in an application where there will be a high amount of exposure to chemicals, but would fare relatively poorly when exposed to extreme temperatures or when used in outdoor applications. It is not only important to know that many different kinds of rubber exist, but also that each kind of rubber material is going to be best suited for a different set of uses. So whenever you buy sheet rubber, you must take these things into consideration; the success of your project could depend on it. With so many rubber materials available, what are uses of rubber?
What Are Uses of Rubber?
Rubber has many, many uses—some of which include gasketing, flooring, and sealing. While each type of rubber material has its own advantages, rubber materials generally share core qualities that make them rubber. These qualities include elasticity, durability, and water-resistance—among other things. Let’s see some specific examples. Here are some of the more popular uses of synthetically-made rubber, as well as a bit of insight as to which specific rubber material would be most-suitable for the application:
Gaskets: One of the main uses for elastomers is in making gaskets, and—depending on the situation—different types of synthetic rubbers can be used. There is, perhaps, more variety in the materials used to make gaskets than in any other sort of product, since gaskets are used in so many different applications, each with its own set of conditions. Gaskets can be made by cutting out the needed gasket shape from a large rubber sheet or mat.
Seals: Like gaskets, some elastomers can be used as sealants. Using rubber to seal contained spaces is a common practice. Santoprene, a thermoplastic rubber material, is often used as an oven seal because of its ability to withstand high temperatures. This rubber material is helpful for preventing the metal door of an oven from grating against the oven itself—all while being resistant to the oven’s extreme temperatures.
Outdoor Uses: Many rubber sheets are made of rubber materials that are specifically designed to be resistant to outdoor elements, such as ozone and UV-radiation. EPDM rubber is an example of a rubber material that’s often used in the outdoors because of its high ozone and UV resistances. You may even find rubber lining present in man-made bodies of waters since rubber is naturally water-resistant as well.
Bumpers: Some rubber materials, such as nitrile, offer great shock-absorbing qualities that make them well suited for high-impact applications, such as protection against bumper-to-bumper collisions. Thus, most car bumpers are made from a rubber material. This shock-absorbance is also why rubber materials are a mainstay in heavy-duty, industrial applications. Rubber sheets are often used as anti-vibration matting, dampening the rumbling of heavy machines as they operate. Furthermore, rubber’s shock-absorbance also makes it excellent for floor protection. In homes, as well as industrial environments, sheeting rubber protects subfloors form sustaining permanent damage from dropped items and heavy appliances. Whenever you buy sheet rubber, you’re gaining access to a level of versatility that is largely unparalleled.
Rubber Feet: When it comes to desktops and laptops, many users install rubber feet under their computers. Rubber feet protect their devices from scratching against potentially rough surfaces. Also, by slightly elevating a laptop above its underlying surface, rubber feet help ventilate the heat that a laptop generates, protecting it from long-term damage.
Spacers: Some firms elicit the help of a rubber sheet company to obtain rubber spacers. Rubber spacers are used to protect delicate wares, such as glass, from bumping against other objects mid-transit.
What Are the Main Types of Rubber?
Natural rubber, EPDM, SBR, silicone, and neoprene are what are the main types of rubber. But, note that there are more types of rubber than just these. As we’ve said, those are just the main types of rubber material that people use.
The above list is just some of the items and applications you’ll become privy to when you buy sheet rubber. Now that you know what is a rubber material, you can see that rubber material is common in more everyday places than we could possibly list. It is versatile in many ways—applications both light- and heavy-duty, objects both small and large. Rubber products such as solid rubber blocks, vulcanized rubber sheets, or a sticky rubber sheet all play a part in keeping our modern society afloat. Rubber makes the world run smooth: Just about anything can be done with rubber!