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The pros and cons of EPDM sheeting

The pros and cons of EPDM sheeting

EPDM is a synthetic rubber with very inert chemical properties that offers excellent weathering resistance and good all-round performance, except with fuels and oils. In this article, Martin’s Rubber gives you an overview of the pros and cons of EPDM sheeting.

What is EPDM?

EPDM rubber (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer [M-class]) is an elastomer characterised by a wide range of applications. The ‘M’ refers to its classification in ASTM standard D-1418 and the ‘M-class’ includes rubbers having a saturated chain of the polymethylene type.

Where is EPDM used?

EPDM rubber is used in seals, o-rings, glass-run channels, radiators, garden and appliance hose, tubing, pond liners, washers, belts, electrical insulation, solar panel heat collectors, and speaker cone surrounds. It is also used as a medium for water resistance in electrical cable-jointing, roofing membranes, geomembranes, rubber mechanical goods, plastic impact modification, thermoplastic, vulcanizates, and many other applications.

The advantages of EPDM

EPDM sheeting has excellent water resistance, both fresh and salt, as well as being very good with ozone, UV and oxidation. The temperature and weathering properties of EPDM rubber sheeting are also outstanding. These factors make EPDM ideal for use in water or marine environments and it is often the material of choice for potable water applications. There are WRAS approved materials available for use in specific applications but, in more general terms, EPDM is a good all-round commercial material. It is widely used as a lower cost polymer, with good processing abilities.

The disadvantages of EPDM

EPDM exhibits unsatisfactory compatibility with most oils, gasoline, kerosene, aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, halogenated solvents, and concentrated acids. The very inert nature of the material also means it is difficult to adhere to, and this can be a limitation. In-mould vulcanised bonding to a substrate is the best method of assuring a reliable bond, and there are adhesive solutions that provide good bonds, but correct preparation and application of suitable bonding agents is critical for success with this polymer.

Full range of EPDM grades, thicknesses and hardnesses

Martin’s Rubber stock EPDM sheet in 1.5mm, 2mm and 3mm thick sheets in a commercial grade, or in 1.5mm and 3mm thick in the WRAS approved option. They are all 70 IRHD hardness and come in sheets 1.4m wide, although we can cut them into lengths or strips, or gaskets for you. Expanded closed cell EPDM is also stocked, for applications where a more compliant seal is required. Download our free Rubber Sheet Guide PDF to find out the full range of grades, thicknesses and hardnesses of sheet available to purchase. Ask for one of our handy “Sample Cards” to compare EPDM with various other types of rubber. Contact us today on 023 8022 6330, or email [email protected], for more details about our entire range of EPDM products.

The post The pros and cons of EPDM sheeting appeared first on Martin’s Rubber Company.

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