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Engineering Materials - Elastomers

Materials: Plastics

Elastomers

Elastomers

Elastomers and rubber are differentiated from polymers by the mechanical property of returning to their original shape after being stretched to several times their length. The rubber industry differentiates between the terms "elastomer" and "rubber" on the bases of how long a deformed material sample requires to return to its approximate original size after a deforming force is removed, and of its extent of recovery. Synthetic materials such as neoprene, nitrile, styrene butadiene (SBR), and butadiene rubber are now grouped with natural rubber. These materials serve engineering needs in fields dealing with shock absorption, noise and vibration control, sealing, corrosion protection, abrasion protection, friction production, electrical and thermal insulation, waterproofing, confining other materials, and load bearing.

As with almost any material, selecting a rubber for an application requires consideration of many factors, including mechanical or physical service requirements, operating environment, a reasonable life cycle, manufacturability of the part, and cost.

Manufacturing rubber parts is accomplished in one of three ways: transfer molding, compression molding, or injection molding. The choice of process depends on a number of factors, including the size, shape, and function of the part, as well as anticipated quantity, type, and cost of the raw material.

Elastomers are classified as follows:

  • Nonoil-resistant rubbers
  • Oil-resistant rubbers
  • Thermoplastic elastomers


 




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