Natural Rubber (Polyisoprene)
The original natural material which has been in commercial use since the turn of the century. The most widely developed rubber with a huge range of compounds available. It also usually has the lowest price.
Natural rubber is an environmentally desirable material and comes from a naturally sustainable source.
During its production as a tree sap (latex), it constantly absorbs carbon dioxide
(a greenhouse gas) from the air. At the end of their working lives, the rubber trees are used to make furniture and are replaced with young trees for further production. Natural rubber itself is readily biodegradable and non-toxic.
- widest range of hardnesses
- very strong (naturally self-reinforcing) and extremely resilient
- good compression set
- good resistance to inorganic chemicals
- lack of resistance to oil and organic fluids
- relatively low maximum temperatures (75°C continuous, 100°C intermittent)
- poor ozone resistance, with tendency to perish in open air (can be improved to some extent by careful compounding).
- components which are protected from constant air changes - i.e. inside machinery - and which do not come into contact with any oil or oil based fluids
- applications requiring strength and resistance to abrasion
- sealing and shock absorption