With over 25 years’ experience in supplying sheet rubber materials and fabricated rubber products, Canada Rubber Group Inc. (CRGI) has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in the physical properties of the various materials we supply, as well as the types of applications for which these materials are best-suited.

Given the wide range of sheet rubber materials available today, it is not uncommon for product engineers and buyers to make costly selection mistakes when choosing materials. Sometimes, these decisions are made without a full knowledge of material properties, application service limits, and supported media. Choosing the wrong material can result in process downtime, compromised safety, potential equipment damage, and wasted time and money.

Sheet Rubber Materials: Know Your Application!

To avoid making wrong material choices, CRGI recommends knowing your application before sourcing and buying sheet rubber materials, or the products that are made from them. Knowing your application means knowing more than the type or make of equipment for which you need a fabricated rubber product (such as a gasket or seal). Knowing an application involves determining the following:

Standard service versus severe service. Severe service applications are those involving aggressive media and/or hostile operating conditions. Severe service applications often involve strong acids or caustics, abrasive materials, and continuous service under harsh operating conditions. In contrast to standard service applications, severe service applications require selecting sheet rubber materials that are specifically designed to handle these demanding conditions.

The application service limits. Particularly important for gasket and sealing applications, this means determining the range of temperatures and pressures, including maximums and minimums, which are typically encountered in the process. Different sheet rubber materials support different application service limits.

The media involved. When selecting sheet rubber materials for gaskets and seals, the properties and characteristics of the media involved in the application must be known. This requires ascertaining such things as the media pH, whether the media is corrosive or abrasive, whether the media is known for any adverse reactions with certain rubber compounds, etc. Once media characteristics are known, they must be matched with materials that are capable of supporting these characteristics.  Unless media properties and characteristics are known with some certainty, the risk of choosing wrong material increases.

Regulatory requirements and environmental impacts. Increasingly, customers using sheet rubber materials are being impacted by regulatory requirements. For example, food service applications require sheet rubber materials that are FDA-approved. Similarly, potable water applications are increasingly requiring sheet rubbers which comply with the NSF 61 standard. In these types of applications, it is important to select sheet rubber materials which have been duly certified as conforming to the required regulations and standards.

In addition to choosing materials which conform to regulatory requirements, customers are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of their applications and processes. For example, certified low-leak packing is becoming increasingly popular as a way of mitigating the environment impacts of fugitive emissions from valves.

CRGI stocks a wide range of sheet rubber materials, including Premlene™ sheet and compounds from Teadit and American Biltrite. Compounds we can supply include EPDM, SBR, Nitrile, Silicone, Neoprene, Natural Rubber, Fluorosilicone, Viton™, and others. We can supply sheet rubber materials by the roll, or in cut-to-size lengths and widths. Alternatively, if you are seeking a particular product fabricated from sheet rubber, our extensive manufacturing capability allows us to fabricate everything from gaskets and seals to custom-made parts. If you are sourcing sheet rubber materials and need help and guidance, CRGI’s experienced sales team is available to help. For further information on any of the sheet rubber materials we stock, please contact our sales department directly at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.

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