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Synthetic Rubber

Raw MaterialsThe early 20th century brought unprecedented demand for rubber across a variety of industries and applications. Scientists developed the first synthetic rubbers — isoprene and neoprene — soon followed by Buna rubber. These and more recent innovations in synthetic rubber have expanded to offer solutions that outperform natural rubber.

What Is Synthetic Rubber?

Synthetic rubber is a polymer material, meaning it’s made of large molecules formed of simpler, identical molecules (monomers). Polymers can be natural (such as silk or natural rubber) or synthetic (such as plastics or synthetic rubbers). Industrial processes commonly used to create synthetic rubber include solution and emulsion polymerization which add rubber monomers to a solvent-based or water-based mixture to convert the monomers into polymers.

Comparing Natural & Synthetic Rubbers

Natural rubber is versatile and renewable material for traditional applications such as tires and shoe soles. While natural rubber generally performs well in most environments and uses, its use is limited to high-temperature applications, with an operating temperature of around 180°C/356 °F. Synthetic rubbers can be formulated specifically to address these and other performance requirements by using different combinations of monomers and selected additives. Many types of synthetic rubber are used for critical applications including gaskets, seals, O-rings, grommets, diaphragms, and poppets.  

Synthetic Rubber Capabilities from RD Rubber

We work with a variety of synthetic rubbers, and we work closely with our customers to select a material that specifically meets a project’s requirements. Synthetic rubber properties for a selection of our standard formulations include:

Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)


EPDM is based on ethylene and propylene and additional compounds that add plasticity and is popular for use in harsh environments. Mechanically it is a very strong, resilient rubber, with excellent resistance to oxidation, water, and electricity. It performs well in temperatures ranging from (change all degrees ranges to Fahrenheit.). This combination of characteristics makes EPDM a useful material for connectors for wire and cable, diaphragms, grommets,  seals, gaskets, and O-rings. (Maximum operating temperature 260°Fahrenheit)

Fluoroelastomer (FKM/FPM)

Also known as fluoro-rubbers or fluorine rubbers, these fluorocarbon-based synthetic rubbers are designed to provide long-lasting performance in high temperatures, sunlight, and a broad range of chemical exposures. Common types include fluorosilicone rubber and Viton.

    • Fluorosilicone: Fluorosilicone offers excellent temperature resistance)change to Fahrenheit., a hardness range (40-80 Shore A), and the water, oil, chemical, and solvent resistance that provide long-term reliability needed in challenging environments.(Maximum operating temperature 395°Fahrenheit) 


  • Viton®: Created by DuPont, Viton® provides excellent performance under extreme conditions, making it a popular choice for the rigorous requirements of gaskets, seals, and O-rings in transportation, aerospace, chemical processing, oil and gas, and similar critical to function environments. Viton® seals reliably at steady temperatures up to change to Fahrenheit and is highly resistant to oils, acids, hydrocarbons, and many solvents. (Maximum operating temperature 400°Fahrenheit)

Fluorocarbon Elastomer

Fluorocarbon Elastomer

Butyl Rubber

Butyl is created from a combination of isobutylene and isoprene and is typically used for applications where an airtight, moisture-resistant, shock-absorbing solution is needed. Durable, with good weathering and aging properties, it is less porous and offers good chemical resistance compared to other elastomers while maintaining sufficient elasticity to form an airtight seal.  Butyl is ideally suited for a variety of applications including O-rings, gaskets, and seals. (Maximum operating temperature 250°Fahrenheit)

Chlorobutyl Rubber

Chlorobutyl rubber

Chlorobutyl offers the same benefits as butyl rubber, such as tolerance to extreme weather conditions, low moisture and gas permeability, and vibration-absorbing capabilities. In addition, chlorobutyl rubber can be vulcanized more quickly, and it is more compatible with metals and other unsaturated rubbers. (Maximum operating temperature 260°Fahrenheit)

Polychloroprene (Neoprene)

Neoprene (Polychloroprene)

Neoprene is one of the oldest synthetic rubbers and remains a versatile and popular solution for a wide variety of applications. Neoprene provides a good compression set and flex fatigue resistance along with weather and ozone durability. Neoprene was developed to be stronger and harder than natural rubber, with improved resistance to numerous chemicals, solvents, and oils. (Maximum operating temperature 260°Fahrenheit)

Buna - N, (NBR) (Nitrile)

The Buna rubbers are based on butadiene in combination with acrylonitrile or styrene. Buna rubbers possess high resistance to many substances, including oils, alcohols, greases, silicones, water, fuels, and hydraulic fluids. (Maximum operating temperature 250°Fahrenheit)

  • Buna-N (NBR, Nitrile Rubber): Nitrile rubber’s strength, stretchiness, and exceptional performance under extreme conditions make it an effective solution for a wide range of applications including O-rings, gaskets, seals, and diaphragms.

Buna-N (NBE) Nitrile

  • Buna – S (Styrene-Butadiene, SBR): SBR rubber is slightly softer than nitrile rubber, and less tolerant of exposure to oils and fuels, though it offers better electrical insulation. SBR is used in the production of seals, grommets, pads, gaskets, and O-rings. 

Buna - S, (Styrene-Butadiene Rubber SBR)

Fabric-Reinforced Rubbers

Fabric-reinforced rubber is produced by embedding a layer of fabric between layers of rubber to improve performance and maintain the shape and structure of articles made from these materials when under stress or compression. Most commonly, fabric-reinforced rubber is used for gaskets and other high-stress applications. (Maximum operating temperature 212°Fahrenheit)