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Rubber Product Manufacturers Run the Gamut

Mention rubber products manufacturers, and the first image that comes to mind is tires, a rubber product nearly every person in the U.S. is familiar with.

Products

But rubber product manufacturing comprises so many other items beyond tires. Examples include:

  • Weatherstripping
  • Jacketing material for cables
  • Grommets
  • Seals
  • Hose
  • Wheels
  • Floor coverings
  • Tubing
  • O-rings
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Gaskets
  • Roofing

End Markets

The end markets that rubber product manufacturers serve are equally broad:

  • Construction
  • Consumer goods
  • Automotive
  • Medical
  • Aerospace
  • Electric and electronics
  • Marine

Processes

Rubber products manufacturers use a wide range of processes to serve their end markets. The four most common are calendaring, extruding, latex dipping and molding.

In calendaring, the rubber is passed between rollers until it achieves the desired characteristics and thickness. Calendaring is used to manufacture products like sheets and membranes.

Extrusion requires the rubber to be forced through a die to create the required shape. Weatherstripping, tubing and gaskets are examples of extruded rubber products.

Latex dipping is exactly what it sounds like: a mold is dipped into liquid latex until the desired thickness is achieved. Dipping is used to make products like gloves and balloons.

Molding includes three main branches: compression molding, transfer molding and injection molding.

In compression molding, a piece of rubber called a blank is put in a mold to be shaped.

In transfer molding, the blank is placed in a chamber and then distributed among several cavities.

In injection molding, molten rubber is forced into mold cavities.

Common products made with molding include seals, O-rings, electrical insulators and tires.

Materials

Rubber product manufacturing not only produces a wide range of items but it also uses a broad array of materials to do so. The word “rubber” comprises both natural and synthetic materials, including:

  • Isoprene (natural rubber), used in gaskets, seals, shock mounts, hoses and tubing
  • Silicone, used in food, beverage and medical applications
  • Styrene butadiene rubber, used in tires and mechanical rubber goods
  • EPDM rubber, used in O-rings and electrical insulation products
  • Nitrile, used in seals
  • Polyurethane, used in O-rings and solid tires
  • Butyl, used in O-rings, tank liners and sealants
  • Neoprene, used in seals and wet suits

Visit www.polysort.com for a comprehensive list of rubber product manufacturers.

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