What's New From Martin's...

Silicone Sheeting vs Natural Rubber Sheeting

Silicone Sheeting vs Natural Rubber Sheeting

In this day and age, there are a multitude of rubber sheeting options, ranging from man-made silicone rubber to natural rubber. With this in mind, Martin’s Rubber has created this article to discuss the pros and cons of both types of rubber sheeting and answer any frequently asked questions around the subject.

What is silicone rubber sheeting?

Silicone rubber is a synthetic rubber material offering multiple advantages over other rubber materials. When silicone rubber sheeting is manufactured, it is produced with hygiene in mind. All of the silicone rubber sheet options that we offer at Martin’s Rubber are manufactured to meet FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requirements. It is for this reason that silicone sheeting is often popular in the catering or food manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.

What is natural rubber sheeting?

Natural rubber is created from latex that is taken from the rubber trees. The latex is a sticky, milky colloid taken from the tree in a process called “tapping”. After the latex is extracted it is then refined into rubber, ready for commercial processing.

Unlike silicone rubber, natural rubber has brilliant mechanical properties. It has very good abrasion and tear resistance with excellent elongation, tensile and tear strength. In these areas, natural rubber sheet is still generally considered to be superior to synthetic rubbers, such as silicone. Natural rubber is ideal for applications such as lining construction chutes, grit or shot blast rubber lined cabinets or as blade scrapers.

Silicone rubber sheet properties

Silicone rubber sheeting offers an excellent temperature range and very good resistance to weathering, UV and sunlight ageing. One of the many extraordinary silicone rubber sheet properties is that it is extremely resilient and can uphold a lot of its properties at very high and low temperatures. This makes silicone rubber sheeting the ideal material for applications with extreme temperatures.

Natural rubber sheet properties

Natural rubber’s exceptional abrasion and tear resistance and excellent elongation, tensile and tear strength make it an extremely popular rubber. However, unlike silicone rubber sheeting, it does not have very good weathering properties. This is because natural rubber sheet does not fare well with ozone and sunlight ageing and does not respond well to high temperatures. Therefore, it is best for indoor applications.

Silicone or natural rubber sheeting?

Depending on your application, both types of rubber sheeting have their benefits. What natural rubber lacks in temperature resilience silicone rubber makes up for. However, natural rubber is tough, with excellent abrasion and tear resistance. If you are looking for rubber sheeting to withstand temperatures ranging from -100°C to 315°C then silicone rubber sheeting is the one for you. But, if you are after a sturdy rubber to withstand tear and damage then natural rubber is your answer!

For more information on these types of rubber sheeting or to learn more about natural or silicone rubber sheet properties, contact us on 023 8022 6330 or via email sales@martins-rubber.co.uk.

Back to blog