All about Rubber Sheeting
Rubber sheeting is defined as the process of converting raw natural or synthetic rubber in to sheet form by means of mixing with carbon, minerals, chemicals and oils.
There are two types of rubber available for sheeting viz. natural rubber and synthetic rubber. Natural rubber is derived from rubber tree after processing the milk like substance (latex) taken from the rubber tree. Synthetic rubber is a petroleum product manufactured from the by-products of crude oil and chemicals. The varieties of synthetic rubber sheeting available are – neoprene, silicone, fluoro-elastomer, nitrile, butyl rubber etc.
The process of manufacture of rubber sheeting involves processing rubber with chemicals such as zinc oxide, sulphur, titanium, MBTS, TMT, calcium carbonate, carbon, rubber processing oil (RPO) etc. All these ingredients are processed using rubber processing machinery – kneader machine, mixing mills, extruder, calendaring machine, hydraulic press, cooling conditioner etc.
Use of rubber sheeting
Rubber is a highly versatile material having excellent insulation and tensile properties. Rubber sheets are used in a large number of applications at home, office and industry. Industrial rubber sheets are used in a variety of applications such as packing, gaskets, insulation, matting etc. Nowadays rubber sheets are made using blend of synthetic & natural rubber. There are applications wherein rubber has to be bonded with metals including stainless steel and this bonding is best done using rubber matting. One of the major uses of such bonded sheet is dampening of vibration and noise reduction in factories.
Rubber sheets are used to manufacture electric wires, rubber grommets used in automobiles, ropes, cords, furniture, surgical instruments and crafts. Rubber sheeting as a material has an inherent elastic property that facilitates making excellent grommet rings and washers. Rubber washers are largely used to act as a cushion at various joints in a machine or appliances. They act as shock absorbers; however they are not suitable for machines of heavy weight.
In order to line artificial ponds in parks and gardens rubber sheeting is used extensively. You might find that many ponds appear to have been raised with bricks and cement but in fact they are lined with rubber sheeting. The most reliable material for this application is butyl, but PVC and LDPE can also be used.
You can also use rubber sheets as roofing materials. High quality rubber known as latex rubber is used for manufacturing rubber sheets. By blending this rubber with foam you can make foam rubber sheets.
You can also use rubber sheets for making rubber tracks for tractors and snowmobiles. They are also used to make waterproof sheets to put under the sheets of infants and small children.