What is a Rubber Sheet?

Rubber sheets are basically sheets made of rubber or cloth that are coated with rubber to improve the mechanical properties of rubber sheeting such as increased tensile strength and reduced elongation.

Materials Used to Make Rubber Sheets

Recycled rubber, reclaimed rubber, synthetic rubber, and natural rubber are the main broad groups derived from rubber sheets. Recycled material is generally made from recycled tire crumb that has been put back together using an adhesive. This should not be confused with reclaimed material, which is also made from recycled tires and some other discarded parts. Reclaimed rubber is de-vulcanized, which matches through vulcanization again to make a rubber sheet.

Types Of Rubber Sheets

The different types of rubber sheets include: Natural Rubber Sheets, Nitrile Rubber Sheets, Neoprene Rubber Sheets, Ethylene Propylene Rubber, SBR Rubber Sheets, Silicone Rubber Sheets.

1. Natural Rubber Sheets

Natural rubber is made up of long isoprene polymer chains, loosely connected. The chains reattach themselves when pulled apart; this gives rubber its elasticity. As opposed to synthetic rubbers, which are made from petrochemicals, natural rubber is made from the latex sap of rubber trees (although other plants also produce latex, rubber trees are the most efficient at producing rubber, making them the suppliers of latex for 99% of natural rubber).

2. Nitrile Rubber Sheets (NBR Rubber Sheet)

Nitrile, also known as Buna-N or NBR (nitrile-butadiene rubber) is a type of synthetic rubber polymer. It’s a copolymer made up of a combination of acrylonitrile and butadiene molecules.

3. Neoprene Rubber Sheets (CR Rubber Sheet)

Neoprene rubber is a synthetic material composed of polymerized chloroprene, and is sometimes referred to as polychloroprene. Polychloroprene is primarily composed of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine polymers, which are cross-linked to give neoprene certain desirable properties, such as chemical inertness, and thermal, oil, water, and solvent resistance.

4. Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPDM Rubber Sheets)

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a synthetic rubber made up of ethylene, propylene, and diene monomers. Its molecular structure has a single bond, chemically saturated backbone, which makes it extremely resistant to outdoor conditions. This is because ozone and UV rays aren’t able to break up its molecular structure in the same way as rubbers with double bonds.

5. SBR Rubber Sheets

SBR, or Styrene-butadiene rubber, is the most consumed synthetic rubber, widely used in place of natural rubber for similar applications. SBR is a general purpose rubber made up of 75% styrene and 25% butadiene joined in a co-polymer. The co-polymer means the molecules of these two materials connect into combined molecules with multiple units. The styrene added makes SBR cheaper while adding bonding and blending capabilities. The styrene also lends SBR its wear and abrasion resistance, as well as its strength.