Commonly Used Rubber Terminology
Commonly Used Rubber Terms and Their Meaning
Here is a list of commonly used rubber terms and their meaning. Many of these terms are used in our Technical Information section of our website where we list the typical physical properties of our various elastomeric formulations. Please note that you must be a registered user to view the Technical Information.
Abrasion Resistance – Ability to withstand surface loss of a material due to frictional forces (abrasion)
Antioxidant – A material added to the formulation to slow deterioration caused by oxidation.
Antiozonant – A material added to the formulation to slow deterioration caused by ozone.
Coagulating – To change from a liquid into a thickened mass
Batch – The amount of product that is made at one time. Our batch sizes vary depending on the formulation.
Compression Set Rating – A measurement of the ability of rubber to return to its original thickness after an applied stress.
Cross Linked – A bond that links one polymer chain to another
Density – Mass per unit volume and is measured by weighing a known volume of a sample. Normally specified in terms of specific gravity which is the ratio of the density of the material to that of water.
Dry Natural Rubber – Solid material obtained by coagulating natural rubber latex (Want to learn more about the difference between natural rubber and natural rubber latex? Click here)
Durometer – A measurement of the hardness of a rubber, usually as a Shore A value.
Elastomer – A material that recovers its shape after being stretch or deformed.
Gum Rubber – A polymer of isoprene units, either natural or synthetic. When it is vulcanized, it becomes a thermoset material.
Hysteresis– The difference between the amounts of energy absorbed when rubber is stretch and the amount of energy releases when it is then relaxed.
Latex – Any polymer in a water based liquid or viscous state.
Modulus – Measures an object’s resistance to being deformed elastically when a force is applied. The ratio of tensile stress to tensile strain.
Natural Rubber Latex – The white sap that comes from the hevea brasiliensis tree.
Polyisoprene – A polymer of isoprene that can occur naturally (natural rubber) or can be produced synthetically (synthetic polyisoprene). The primary chemical constituent of natural rubber expressed as (-CH2=C(CH3)—CH=CH2-)n. The synthetic version is cis-1,4 polyisoprene.
Tear Resistance – Ability to resist force required to tear a material
Tensile Strength – The measurement of the force required to pull something until it breaks.
Thermoplastic – Materials that become plastic when heated and harden when cooled and are able to repeat these processes.
Thermoplastic Elastomer – A thermoplastic that is developed to mimic the properties of natural rubber.
Thermoset Elastomer – A material that becomes permanently “set” when heated or cured and cannot be remolded (Thermosets are making a rebound! Read our white paper here)
Ultimate Elongation – How far a material will stretch before breaking, expressed as a percentage of its original length.
Vulcanization – The irreversible process that causes rubber to change its chemical structure and “cure”.