Elastomers for every application 12 October 2022

Here, APM Hexseal outlines the benefits of different elastomers and how they are suitable for various applications. With more than 20 types of elastomers, they are a suitable material for use in various industries, including marine, outdoor, medical, aerospace, lighting, agriculture, food and beverage, and more.

Elastomers are polymers which can return to their original shape after bending and stretching, making them especially suitable for sealing seams to prevent gases, liquids or other substances from escaping. Depending on the application, an elastomer can also exhibit heat resistance, flexibility in low temperatures, hardness or elongation at the breaking point. Also, they are tear and abrasion resistant, and make good electrical insulators.

Primarily, there are two types of elastomers. Saturated elastomers, which include silicone rubber, polyacrylic rubber and ethylene-vinyl acetate. These elastomers are resistant to ozone, radiation, heat and oxygen and cannot be cured via the sulphur vulcanisation process. The other type are unsaturated elastomers, including nitrile rubber, butyl rubber, chloroprene rubber, polybutadiene, natural polyisoprene and other elastomers with carbon double or triple bonds. They can be cured with sulphur or non-sulphur vulcanisation.

Choosing the right elastomer will have an impact on the lifespan of the elastomer, as well as the associated component and even the machine as a whole. There are several factors to consider, such as extreme weather and temperature conditions. Moisture levels, exposure to corrosive elements, as well as human and environmental contaminants, all of which can have an effect on the performance of the elastomer. Hence, APM Hexseal Corp enforces the necessity of choosing the correct elastomer for a specific application.

Becca England Assistant Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 615 413

Becca is the latest member to join our team and is eager to get stuck into the world of fasteners. She brings an enthusiastic and fresh outlook on what we do editorially and will be leading our social media activity – including sourcing material, editing articles and posting online.