What Types of Rubber Can Be Used in the Consumer Industry?
Rubber is often thought as a single type of material, but there are many different types of elastomers used in the consumer industry. Each elastomer comes with its own characteristics and benefits. We can even combine benefits by blending elastomers.
Due to having unlimited possibilities and being a helpful material for many types of products and hardware components, rubber is a popular material choice not only in the consumer industry but in the medical, automotive, industrial, and defense contracting industries as well.
Examples of consumer products that elastomers are used to manufacture include smartphone covers and cases, footwear, sports goods, and erasers. Elastomers are usually more durable than plastics, so they are used for smartphone covers and cases that are designed to provide extra protection for the device.
Types of rubber that can be used in the consumer industry include:
EPDM is often chosen for consumer products that need to be resistant to weather, ozone, steam, animal and vegetable oils, or high temperatures. Its maximum service temperature is 302 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). In the consumer industry, EPDM can be used as a material for important parts in products, such as seals, speaker cone surrounds, and o-rings. EPDM can be finished to a smooth surface if that's important for your needs. A weakness of the material to be aware of is it doesn't have good resistance to petroleum-based liquids.
Butyl rubber has good weathering resistance, excellent electrical properties, and low permeability to air. It's also resistant to strong and oxidizing chemicals, greases, oils, and animal and vegetable fats. As a dielectric material, butyl can act as an electrical insulator. Because of its impermeability to air, butyl is frequently used in applications that require an airtight rubber. Balls that are used in sports, such as soccer balls, have what's called a ball bladder inside. And these ball bladders are usually made of butyl rubber.
In the consumer industry, silicone rubber is often used in electronics, medical, and even in ice cube trays! This material can pass FDA and UL listed standards. It's hypoallergenic, biocompatible, and durable. Silicone can resist extreme high and low temperatures like 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius) and -67 degrees Fahrenheit (-55 degrees Celsius) depending on how we need to modify to meet your needs. It's also a good choice if you need custom colors in your rubber components because silicone has optical clarity. We can dye it many different custom colors.
Nitrile (NBR) is resistant to oil, fuels, and chemicals. How much nitrile is in the material affects its properties. A higher concentration of nitrile increases its resistance to oil and decreases its flexibility. NBR can handle temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius) to 226 degrees Fahrenheit (108 degrees Celsius). It can be used for creating footwear, floor mats, and sponges. There are two other types of nitrile rubber as well: HNBR (hydrogenated NBR) and XNBR (carboxylated NBR). HNBR has great physical strength and long-term resilience to oil, chemicals, and heat.
If you're looking for a waterproof rubber for your prototype, then neoprene is a good choice. This waterproof rubber is commonly used in dry suits, laptop sleeves, mouse pads, tablet holders, orthopaedic braces, speaker cones, and drum practice pads. Neoprene maintains flexibility and good chemical stability over a wide range of temperatures. It's also a fire retardant material that can be used in combat attire and fire doors. This material's burn point is around 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius). Some people have allergic reactions to neoprene, a downside to keep in mind.
SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber) is resistant to abrasions, moderate chemicals, ketones, organic acids, and alcohols. As styrene content in the rubber increases, its hardness increases. The rubber is weak when it comes to greases, oils, strong acids, and ozone. In the consumer industry, SBR is commonly used in shoe soles, shoe heels, coated papers, low damping rubber surrounds in speakers, cutting boards, and chewing gum.
Polyurethane rubbers are available as thermosetting and thermoplastic varieties. Thermosetting polymers don't melt when heated. A thermoplastic material could be melted at a high enough temperature for reshaping. Beneficial characteristics of thermoplastic polyurethane are high abrasion resistance, elasticity, resistance to oil and grease, high shear strength, and resistance to low temperatures. Polyurethane is commonly used in skateboard wheels, condoms, electronic instrument components, carpet underlays, and high resilience foam seating.
We can help you determine which type of rubber is best for your consumer goods if you're still on the fence about which to choose. To bring your product ideas into reality and create the crucial hardware components for your products, we offer comprehensive rubber molding services. Types of custom elastomer molding we specialize in include injection molding, transfer molding, compression molding, bonding, and overmolding. We can also create fabric reinforced items. And we offer rapid prototyping and custom tooling services. Our company can guide you from design to product to help you quickly bring your item to market.
Silicone elastomers have become a staple for the creation of versatile and long-lasting products of all types. The use of silicone in this manner can only be expected to grow over the coming years. The information below will give you a little background information about silicone elastomers. It will also talk about some interesting advantages that these materials can offer for your next project.
Background of Silicone
First, let's talk a little about the background of liquid silicone rubber in particular. This substance first came onto the scene in the 1960's. In a short time, it developed a rapport for being useful in the creation of a wide array of products and tools designed for all settings.
Understanding the reasons for its popularity will be easier once you know more about the materials involved. When rubber is in its unvulcanized state, it consists of many polymers made up of all different lengths. In order to bond to other materials, it must undergo a particular type of curing known as vulcanization. This process can transform silicone rubber into many other types of bonded elastomers. Each type of material will offer various strengths and advantages. The strengths of each type will depend on the additional materials used. Additionally, there are several different types of curing that each offer their own interesting rewards.
Advantages of Silicone
Now that we know a bit more about the background and development of silicone elastomers, let's discuss the specific advantages known to be associated with this material. Check out the following list of advantages that LSR can offer:
* Extreme Versatility
One of the largest advantages to relying on LSR for your product needs is the extreme level of versatility that comes with these items. These products are a favorite for millions of people because they are easy to customize according to each person's demands. The overall size, shape, and color of each product can be made to fit the needs of each consumer with ease.
* Exceptional Quality
Silicone is also known to offer extremely high-quality and durable products that live up to their reputation through the years. The level of quality associated with LSR items makes them a primary choice for parts relating to the automotive, medical, electronic, and military industries.
* High Performance
Silicone elastomers are also known for their durability and strength. These products are generally quite resistance to extreme temperatures. They also have a low level of flammability and generally remain sterile, making them a great choice for the automotive and medical industries. Their overall strength means that these products will hold up well through repeated use over a period of years.
* Safety Features
Finally, liquid silicone rubber products are well-known for additional safety features. When these products are used in a medical setting, they need to be safe for all people to come into contact with. Silicone elastomers are naturally resistant to the overgrowth of bacteria, UV light, and various forms of radiation. Food-grade silicone can also be made according to current FDA standards for items that will come into direct contact with food or drink materials.
As we can see from this list of advantages, there are many reasons why liquid silicone rubber has become a primary choice for the development of millions of parts every year.
At Rubber Industries, we provide access to this creative technology to allow you to get your important tasks completed with ease. With over 50 years of dedicated experience behind our name, we are committed to helping you choose the best products for each and every project you encounter.
We maintain a large in-house production facility that is in operation around the clock. This allows us to provide some of the fastest turn-around time in the entire industry. From start to finish, you will be ensured high-quality products that have been designed according to your precise specifications each time.
If you need help choosing the right products for your needs, we will be happy to walk you through the entire process. Please contact the professionals at Rubber Industries for a complete estimate on your next project.
Rubber Industries And Our Extensive Work For The Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is a world wide powerhouse. Some of the richest companies in the world are the ones that create the automobiles you drive every single day of your life. We live in a world where we simply can't survive without using an automobile. We drive to our jobs, the grocery store, to our kid's soccer practice, and everything in between. So, you might be surprised to know that we create many of the crucial parts for the vehicles you drive every single day. That's right. We have an impact on the lives of the majority of the first world and they trust us with that.
We've done this for years. The automotive industry is a major consumer of custom molded rubber parts. Therefore, it's only natural that they come to us for a lot of the parts they need for every vehicle that they put on the road.
Our company has been at the forefront of elastomer based products for nearly five decades. In that time, we've built relationships with some of the largest names in automobile manufacturing in the world. This includes companies like GM and Ford.
We've done this through offering only the fastest and highest quality services in the industry. We've earned the trust of our clients. At Rubber Industries, we manufacture these critical parts in a shorter time frame than any of competitors. We remain open every hour of every day for every single day of the year. We're that dedicated to our customers and their projects.
What Are Custom Molded Rubber Parts Used For In Automobiles?
The parts we create every day are used in a multitude of automotive applications. Our gaskets and o-rings are used for minor tasks in the engine area of the car, but we also make the seals that impact a vehicle's comfort and performance drastically.
Seals are typically made from EPDM when they're intended to be used in a vehicle. EPDM has a large number of desirable traits that make it perfect for the application. It's heat resistant, cold resistant, chemical resistant, resistant to the normal elements of nature, and it's durable. It even has amazing insulation characteristics that make it immune to electrical currents and it keeps in hot or cold air.
Our EPDM seals are used for everything from door frame seals to the seals on hoods and individual engine components. For door seals, EPDM is useful for a few reasons. It is one of the main reasons that your heat or air conditioning doesn't simply leak out into the atmosphere. It forms a tight, insulating, seal around the openings of a vehicle's cab. This also acts as a way to protect against electrical shock. While it's not full proof, EPDM is an insulator and can help keep lightning strikes or other electrical hazards from harming anyone in the vehicle.
The seals used in the engine of a vehicle usually act as a way to keep liquid and gas from escaping. This can be crucial if you know how bothersom it is to have your oil or coolant leaking all over the place. These pieces are incredibly critical for a vehicle to survive years of use and abuse. If they're not made properly, the entire vehicle can fail.
Custom molded rubber is also used for the tires of vehicles. This is typically in the form of styrene butadiene rubber due to its ability to resist abrasion and naturally occurring hazards such as heat and chemical spills. The rubber used for tires has to be incredibly durable to withstand the rigors of driving down highways at sixty miles per hour or even more. If a tire isn't made properly or it's made from the wrong material, catastrophic events can unfurl that ruin families and lives. That's why we ensure that our products are always made to the highest quality standards.
How Do We Make Our Rubber Products?
We have developed different processes to manufacture custom rubber products over the course of fifty years. That's an entire lifetime for some people. We use similar methods to our competitors, but our experience and dedication have led to us perfecting our manufacturing process perfectly. We can replicate parts thousands of times without becoming inaccurate and we do so in an efficient manner.
First, we create a plan for your project. We use decades of experience to perfectly produce a computer aided design of your desired product. This is the very beginning of the manufacturing process.
Then, we move on to create the tooling that is necessary to produce your product. We do this entirely from scratch within the walls of our five acre facility. Our CNC experts only use 4130 steel to create the tooling for your project and we do so to save you money. Of course, our competitors often use aluminum for their tooling, but that breaks or loses its integrity very quickly. By using steel for every single piece of tooling we create, we ensure that your project is done right and that you never have to replace the tooling.
After that, we move on to the prototyping phase. This is relatively simple, but it ensures that you get exactly what you want. You get to examine the prototype before you decide whether or not you want to move on to full blown production, If there are any changes you want to make, you're free to do so.
Finally, we take your product out of the developmental stage and begin mass production. We use efficiently sourced materials in a way that produces very little waste to ensure that you pay the bare minimum for your project. This includes properly sourcing materials or making them ourselves, preparing them for maximum efficiency, and streamlining our production process in a way that doesn't waste what we use.
This is our way of creating a quality product in as little time as possible. That list might sound time consuming, but we have managed to lower our production time to the absolute minimum. We can achieve all of this within as little as a few weeks.