How Long Does Rubber Last?
4th March, 2022
Rubber is highly useful and malleable, but like most other materials, rubber will degrade over time and will need replacing if the functionality is impaired. The lifespan of rubber is unique to individual products, as the speed of degradation not only depends on exposure to ozone, heat, and light, but also depends on the type of rubber and the functionality of the rubber.
Providing an accurate length of time for how long all rubber will last is not possible. Instead, this article will discuss the main causes of degradation and the ways in which you can extend the durability of your rubber products.
Most elastomers will eventually degrade, with the most common causes of deterioration being an exposure to oxygen (ozone), heat or light. These environmental conditions cause molecular changes in the material, impacting the material’s mechanical properties and reducing its durability over time.
Rubber deterioration caused by oxidative or thermal aging can be accelerated further due to reactive gases and stress placed on the rubber, resulting in the rubber becoming faded, cracked, and less flexible. Both soft and hard degradation can occur to rubber, however, the latter is more common.
When discussing rubber degradation, it is important to note that some rubber materials have high durability compared to others in specific environments. For example, EPDM offers excellent heat resistance, performing well in environments with high temperatures, the material however is not suitable for use in environments using petroleum-based fuels and oils, as it has low resistance to these.
Prolonging the Lifespan of Rubber
Whilst deterioration of rubber over time is inevitable, there are specific ways to reduce the speed of deterioration and extend the durability of your rubber products.
The first recommendation is to source all rubber from a trusted rubber manufacturer. Going directly to a specialist rubber manufacturer will ensure you are using the highest quality rubber products. In addition, rubber manufacturers, such as Aquaseal Rubber, will provide bespoke services to ensure the most suitable rubber material is used based on the purpose of the rubber. A rubber that is fit for purpose will last significantly longer.
Other ways to reduce the speed of deterioration include the addition of antioxidants, UV stabilisers and antiozonants, and general sufficient care and maintenance of products. If your rubber is showing signs of wear and tear, it can often be repaired, however, we suggest speaking to a rubber specialist to discuss the best options.
How Aquaseal Rubber Can Help?
Whether you are looking to replace a worn rubber part or require a unique rubber fixing for a new project, our team of rubber specialists are here to help. We offer a fully bespoke service, providing the best solutions to all your rubber requirements, no matter how large or small. Contact us today to explore your options.