Thanks to its incredible versatility, rubber, also known as elastomer, is commonly used throughout a number of industries. From agriculture and aerospace to construction and printing, rubber products, parts, and components are used in a wide range of industrial applications.
Read on for our guide to industrial uses of rubber.
What are the industrial applications of rubber?
Rubber is used in a wide range of industrial applications, including:
Sealing rings made from elastomers are widely used in industrial applications. Traditionally, thermoset rubber seals have been used. However, seals made from thermoplastic elastomers are becoming increasingly common as they can be produced faster, in line with growing demand.
Typically made from high-quality rubber, electrical insulation is used in every manufacturing process. Rubber is perfect in this role as it causes electrons to slow down and even stop them from moving.
Conveyor belts are commonly used in industrial processes. The belts and their parts are often made from elastomers, which can resist deformation and wear, even when under extensive stress.
Many machines used in industry use gaskets to reduce the risk of leaks and fill spaces between parts. Because rubber is flexible and equipped to withstand high levels of friction, it is ideal for producing gaskets.
Rubber is often used to make handles and casing for tools used in industry. This is because it offers a good and comfortable grip, as well as being an excellent insulator for both heat and electricity.
Hoses and tubes
Flexible and water repellent, rubber is widely used to manufacture the tubes and hoses used in industry both for transporting liquids and gases including in medical equipment, food manufacturing and in the automotive industry.
Which sectors are industrial rubber products used in?
Industrial rubber products are used in a broad range of industries and sectors, including:
Plant and machinery
What different types of rubber are used for industrial applications?
Rubber is used in countless applications across a huge range of industries. There are many different types of rubber, each of which lends itself to a different industrial application.
To access all the benefits that rubber has to offer, it’s important that the right type of rubber is chosen for the application and the environment.
Here’s an overview of the different types of rubber that are commonly used in industry, and their applications:
Neoprene rubber offers high resistance to burning, corrosion, and degradation. This makes it ideal for industrial uses including corrosion-resistant gaskets, hoses, fan belts, adhesives, belts, door seals, hoses and coatings.
Hard and durable, SBR is a copolymer of styrene and butadiene. It offers better abrasion, compression set, and water resistance than other types of rubber, making it ideal for industrial uses such as conveyor belts and tires.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)
This synthetic rubber offers impressive durability and is highly resistant to damage and degradation from extreme temperatures and conditions. Not only this, but it also possesses excellent noise and thermal insulation properties. As result, it is often used in industrial applications, including mechanical vibrators, electrical insulation, hoses, and seals.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene (NBR)
Also known as nitrile butadiene rubber, NBR is resistant to compression set, heat, oil, gas, and wear. As a result, it is widely used in industrial applications, such as oil seals, gaskets, engine hoses, V belts and O rings.
Also known as silicones, polysiloxanes are chemically stable and unreactive, with a low moisture take up. They also offer excellent electrical insulation. Common industrial applications include sealants, coatings, and moulds.
With a high tear and tensile strength, as well as resistance to abrasion, friction, extreme temperatures, and water, natural rubber is commonly used in industrial applications such as adhesives, insulation, and tubing.
Isobutylene Isoprene (Butyl rubber)
This type of rubber offers one of the highest levels of gas impermeability, along with excellent flexibility. It is widely used in industrial applications, such as inner tubes and sealants.
Flurosilicone is highly resistant to extreme temperatures, as well as fire, ozone, oils and fuels. As a result, it is widely used in specialist industrial applications such as fuel systems and where dry-heat resistance is required.
Why is rubber used in industrial applications?
Rubber’s unique qualities make it ideal for use in industrial applications. These favourable, sought after properties include:
Excellent insulator for both heat and electricity.
Highly elastic meaning it can absorb shocks and protect any object or components wrapped within it.
Repels water, allowing for excellent grip on wet surfaces.
Easy to mould and flexible so can be easily moulded into any shape and size required.
Durable and resists damage and degradation caused by abrasive force, impact, and tearing.
Viscous, making them slow-flowing under force.
High level of elasticity, making it highly resistant to breaking and cracking.
Find out more
At Industrial Rubber, we have been producing rubber mouldings since 1975. During that time, we have earned an unsurpassed reputation around the world. We have technical expertise in both design and rubber technology, supported by a comprehensive range of plants and machinery.