When compared side-by-side with natural-rubber sheets, rubber produced from synthetic materials offer sets of characteristics that are beneficial to any end-user. There are many different kinds of synthetic rubbers—neoprene, silicone, and EPDM, to name a few—and each one has its own advantages. Part of the reason why thick and thin sheet rubber are available in so many materials is that each material is ideal for different applications; for example, whereas EPDM rubber is the best rubber material for outdoor uses, silicone rubber is best for heat-intensive applications. Furthermore, rubber-rolls manufacturers often alter their products within each rubber-material category—for example, you might see different durometers across multiple neoprene rubber products. Perhaps you need soft rubber for a personal project that emphasizes cushioning. Or, maybe more solid rubber is required for protecting your floors from the operations of heavy machinery. To tailor their rubber products to match consumers’ many demands, rubber sheeting suppliers generally utilize every type of rubber material, tweaking them accordingly for a fine-tuned fit. When made into products, such as rubber sheets, rubber materials differ from each other in both small and large ways. In this article, we will discuss the general similarities shared between all synthetic rubbers. In doing so, we’ll answer the following questions you may have about synthetic rubbers:
What are rubber sheets made of?
What are synthetic rubbers used for?
Is synthetic rubber as good as natural rubber?
What are the disadvantages of synthetic rubber?
What Are Rubber Sheets Made Of?Rubber sheets can be made of many things, including natural rubber, recycled or reclaimed rubbers, or synthetic rubbers, as well as binders and fillers that give rubber its natural elsticity. Since this article’s focus is on synthetic rubber, here are some of the shared characteristics of synthetic rubber sheets—rubber materials certainly differ, but they have a lot in common, too:
Toughness: Generally, synthetic-rubber sheets perform well in physically-abrasive conditions. For an application like these, you’d likely want to go with more hard rubber sheets. You might find that a certain synthetic rubber product is offered in different hardness options. Ultimately, it’s up to you to find out what durometer you need for your project and from which materials your sheets (rubber) should be made. In these situations, it’s wise to carefully assess every aspect of your project while you’re planning it. Know all the conditions to which you’ll subject your Rubber materials aren’t so daunting if you take a moment to research your options.
Durability: By and large, synthetic rubber materials are also highly durable. When using your rubber sheets—rubber sheet 1mm thick or 2mm rubber sheet, for example—you’ll notice their impressive degrees of durability. For example, the rubber used in pavement skirting applications must be durable enough to plow driveways and streets. The lifespan of a synthetic-rubber product will depend on its tensile strength and which type a customer chooses to order. While this lifespan varies, in general, synthetic-rubber products are more durable than their non-rubber counterparts. Even soft rubber products can be extremely durable and long-lasting, so there’s no need to worry.
Variety: As already mentioned, synthetics rubbers come in many varieties, with even more products that can be produced from each one. Variety makes life rich—and this applies to rubber, too. Here are some examples of synthetic rubber materials that are commonly used: EPDM, nitrile, and SBR. With so many types of rubbers and rubber products available, it’s no wonder why rubber is so widely used. No matter how specific your needs are, it’s likely that there’s a rubber product available that precisely fits your situation.
Petroleum-Based: Synthetic rubber materials are produced using petroleum-based products. While this does draw from non-renewable resources, the upshot is that synthetic-rubber products are often recycled once their lifespans end.
Soft: Synthetic rubber, as well as natural rubber, is often used because it is much softer than many other materials, such as wood or stone. For this reason, rubber is used in countless applications, being a material with unparalleled versatility.
Shock Absorption: Synthetic rubber is sometimes used because of its shock-absorbing qualities. This quality makes rubber a good material for things like car bumpers, playground flooring, and gym flooring.
What Are Synthetic Rubbers Used For?
Synthetic rubbers are used for applications such as car tires, car gaskets, and rubber matting. These are just some examples of what are synthetic rubbers used for. Thus, don’t be surprised to find out that many of your rubber objects are made of synthetic rubber—especially since synthetic rubbers share so many advantageous traits.
Is Synthetic Rubber as Good as Natural Rubber?
Now, you might be wondering: Is synthetic rubber as good as natural rubber? For the most part, synthetic rubber is as good as natural rubber. Sometimes, synthetic rubber is an even better option than natural rubber, since synthetic rubbers can offer advantages that natural rubber simply cannot. Synthetic rubbers tend to be less expensive, more readily available, and offered in more variations that natural rubber products.
What Are the Disadvantages of Synthetic Rubber?
One of the main disadvantages of synthetic rubber is that, by and large, synthetic rubbers are made using petroleum-based materials, which are non-biodegradable. In addition, synthetic rubbers are subject to the movement of the price of petroleum. However, companies like Rubber-Cal are increasingly using reclaimed or recycled rubber to make their products, which—in effect—extends the lifespans of non-biodegradable rubber products.
Now that we have looked at the many characteristics shared among synthetic sheets (rubber), you’ll have a better idea of what you’re in for when your purchase your next rubber product. Whether they’re made of a black rubber material or red sheet rubber, there are ample uses for these synthetic rubber sheets. Rubber, because of its many varieties, is perhaps the most prolific material used in many of the world’s industries.