Rubber bonding is when rubber and metal are combined either by adhesion or through a vulcanisation process to create a rubber bonded part.
This is very useful when a single component needs to contain the properties of both the rubber and the metal, for instance flexibility and toughness.
How do you bond rubber to metal?
Vulcanisation is often the best way to permanently bond metal to rubber. Vulcanised bonding is the name given to all the processes that chemically bond an elastomer to a previously prepared steel surface. This process is traditionally much stronger than a glue bond in most applications. The use of the product normally dictates the type of bond to use, glue or vulcanised.
The preparation of the substrate (material being used) is key to the bonding process, with chemical etching, blasting (with grit or sand) and grinding the surface all being considered for the appropriate bond.
The surface is then further chemically prepared with primers and cements, which often will require special design and moulding to accommodate the desired result, and then heat, pressure or both, are finally applied to finish the bonding of the rubber to the metal.
What types of metal can be used in rubber bonding?
Most types of metal can be used to bond a rubber component to a metal component, but traditionally steel or iron parts are used, but aluminium and brass are often used. Other non-metallic substrates, such as fabric or plastic can also be bonded, and sometimes even other rubber parts for specialist applications.
What is rubber bonding used for?
Applications include bonding for rollers, valves, seals, joints and shafts in a range of sizes, where strength and flexibility is required in a single part, which can lead to cost savings over the lifetime of the product, less parts required for a project and a stronger bond between components. Other uses include parts for anti-vibration.