The quality of rubber comes down to how flexible, elastic and hard-wearing it is. Humans have been aware of rubber in its natural state since the 15th century, and it has been part of our daily lives for more than 200 years. In the early 20th century, manufacturers came together to develop the first synthetic rubbers. The processes developed since then, including blending rubber with other products, have made it possible to produce really high-tech rubber such as silicone, SBR, NBR and EPDM, featuring specific properties and designed for specific uses. Having devised and produced blends and finished products for decades now, we are renowned specialists in the elastomer industry.
Natural rubber is obtained from latex, a liquid secreted naturally by plants such as the hevea, which is grown largely in south-east Asia. First, the latex is filtered, before then being stabilised and dried, leaving balls of natural rubber. Rubber then takes on other properties once mixed with other products and vulcanised:
- traction-resistance, tear-resistance, heat-resistance, wear-resistance
Synthetic rubber is produced by combining hydrocarbon monomers, mostly from oil. These monomers are abundant and can either be assembled on their own as pure products or mixed together. Synthetic rubber can also be made using certain additives to give it specific properties: greater elasticity than natural rubber, greater abrasion-resistance, water-resistance, UV-resistance, greater resistance to oil or solvents. Getting the composition of the blend right has a huge impact on the quality of the final product.
Silicone is obtained from silicon, a material extracted from sand or quartz. A number of physical and chemical operations must then be carried out in order to obtain silicone polymers. As is the case with rubber, different blends can be produced in order to obtain different properties and textures: fluids such as LSR, resins or gums like (HCR), or elastomers which can then be used to create a range of different finished products.
Made using a natural resource, silicone is a sustainable, reusable and biocompatible material. Both UV-resistant and capable of withstanding variations in temperature, it can easily be used to replace rubber in a range of applications.