Posts Tagged ‘rubber’

“So do you have any of that neoprene?”
From the DIY community that is what most plastics and rubber companies hear from a customer. You can’t really blame them, they don’t know about the different types of rubber and what they need for their application. In addition, people don’t want to sound “dumb” – they want to act like they know what they’re talking about and often “neoprene” is all they know. The best thing to do is phone your trusted plastics and rubber specialists, let them know about your application, and they’ll help you find the best material. Here is a primer of the commonly available rubber types:


Just because it’s the “natural” grade of rubber does not imply poor performance! Natural rubber, in fact, has outstanding wear resistance and “Redco Safeguard” natural rubbers has excellent UV-resistance.

Commercial and premium grades have excellent weather resistance including UV-resistance. All Redco EPDM has excellent temperature resistance 220-250 F (depending on grade). Functions well as a gasket or seal, especially outdoors, but is weak to oil, gasoline, and other hydrocarbons.
It is an economy grade rubber and has the advantage of price. This comes at the disadvantage of mechanical properties and chemical properties.
An economy grade rubber that does in fact have good mechanical properties as well as wear/abrasion resistance; however, this comes at the cost of poor UV/weather resistance and resistance to oils, gas, and other hydrocarbons.
Name recognition combined with a wide variety of “good” properties. However, it has limited performance in the cold, doesn’t excel at any one property, and depending on your application you may be needless paying for a higher grade neoprene that you do not need!
Other grades are available. If you want to get in touch with a rubber expert, please contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber.

Sheet Rubber For DIY Applications

Posted: October 3, 2018 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Rubber is a topic we haven’t covered much on this blog so this is overdue! The main thing we hear is that people don’t really understand what types of rubber are out there or what they need for an application. Often people will ask for “neoprene” since it’s the only name they know. Neoprene has obtained a good reputation because it’s similar to a multi-tool: it does many things good, but it also isn’t optimal in many applications and a discussion with a rubber expert can lead you to a much better rubber choice.

Several other types of rubber including EPDM, natural gum, butyl, Viton, silicone, and SBR exist. In addition, each of those types of rubber exist in various strata of quality – general purpose, commercial grade, and premium grade. For example, natural gum rubber while being ‘natural’ is actually a premium grade product. We know of cases where people get quotes on natural rubber, primarily because it comes in some colors, and are shocked at the price. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: with plastics (and rubber) you will pay a premium for color with almost every product. When it comes to applications if at all possible it is best to take the default color it comes in.

Rubber varies widely in properties. For example, “neoprene” is not resistant to some common chemicals and is poor with extreme temperatures. But if you’re unsure of your applications requirements you may use it in a place it will fail. Likewise, Safeguard gum rubber, while expensive, has exceptional UV-resistance and functions well over a wide temperature range. Other rubbers have severe limitations with UV and mechanical properties. Again, you wouldn’t know if you didn’t ask!

Redwood Plastics and Rubber has an excellent line card breaking down many types of rubber to various categories and giving their strengths and weaknesses. Click on the link in the previous sentence to view a downloadable copy.

In your searches for plastics to fulfill your dream of various projects you may encounter the term “elastomers”. What are elastomers? Defined generally that is a material that “rebounds” when impacted or compressed. The rule of thumb is the material has to return to 90% of its original size 10 minutes after compression occurs. The two elastomers you’re most likely to encounter are polyurethane and rubber. Again, as a rule of thumb, polyurethane is a more expensive – but premium – replacement for rubber and outlasts rubber in most applications. Where rubber should be substituted for polyurethane is in applications with lots of vibration. That’s why you see rubber used as bushings on vehicle suspensions for example.

Rubbers and polyurethane are also defined by a wide range of hardnesses, unlike other plastic materials. Commercially sold rubber usually ranges from 40A durometer (quite soft) to 80A which is fairly rigid. Polyurethane ranges from about 52A-75D and that change in letters following the number is important. At 75D the polyurethane feels “rock” hard and it is primarily used in applications like sprockets and bushings. One major advantage to elastomers over some other plastics is that they are readily moldable. Not just injection molding, but simpler and less expensive open cast molding.

If you have questions about whether polyurethane or rubber is right for your application please contact us today.


Synthetic Rubber Coating

Plasti Dip is a multi-purpose air dry, synthetic rubber coating that can be easily applied by spraying, brushing or dipping. Plasti Dip resists moisture, acids, abrasion, corrosion, skidding/slipping, and provides a comfortable, controlled grip. It remains flexible, stretchy and will not become brittle or crack in extreme weather conditions; -30°F to 200°F. Available in 7.25-oz Can, 11-oz Aerosol, 14.5-oz Can. Large containers of Plasti Dip are available for industrial use.

Stretchy rubber coating
remains flexible
when applied to wood,
glass, rope, dried
floral arrangement,
clay, or stone, concrete,
ceramic, brick, or anything
that paint is applied to.

In Canada call  1 800 667 0999 to order.
or in the USA call 1 866 733 2684