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March 2017

Understanding the Limitations of Natural Rubber in Product Design

03-20-2017

How much do you know about the material limitations of natural rubber in product design? Most product designers and engineers are well aware of the advantages of natural rubber – high elasticity, high tensile strength, excellent compression set, high stretch recovery, good resistance to alcohols, ketones, and organic acids. These properties make natural rubber an optimal material for a variety of applications that require repeated stretch and recovery or compression and recovery. Natural rubber is a versatile material but there are applications where it is not the optimal material. Product designers will often focus on all of the advantages of natural rubber and forget to take into account the limitations of this natural material. It’s important to have an understanding of the advantages and limitations of natural rubber early in the design process before costly errors are made.