What is Nitrile Rubber?
Nitrile rubber, also known as Buna-N or NBR, is a synthetic rubber copolymer made of acrylonitrile and butadiene. It is a highly versatile elastomer that is widely used in various industrial applications, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Nitrile rubber is a type of synthetic rubber that was first developed in the 1930s. It was initially used as a substitute for natural rubber during World War II, when supplies of natural rubber were limited. Since then, nitrile rubber has become a popular choice for a wide range of applications due to its unique properties, including excellent oil and chemical resistance, high tensile strength, and good abrasion resistance.
Why use Nitrile Rubber?
Nitrile rubber is a highly versatile elastomer with unique properties that make it ideal for a wide range of applications. Let’s take a closer look at the chemical composition and physical properties of nitrile rubber.
- Chemical Composition: Nitrile rubber is a copolymer made from acrylonitrile and butadiene. The percentage of acrylonitrile can vary from 18% to 50%, with the remaining percentage being butadiene. The higher the percentage of acrylonitrile, the better the oil resistance of the rubber. For example, a nitrile rubber with 50% acrylonitrile is often used in applications where oil resistance is critical..
- Physical Properties: Nitrile rubber has excellent tensile strength, elasticity, and temperature resistance. Its tensile strength ranges from 3.5 MPa to 21 MPa, depending on the grade of the rubber. Nitrile rubber is also highly elastic, with an elongation at break of up to 700%. Additionally, nitrile rubber has a high resistance to temperature, with a range of -40°C to 120°C.
- Oil Resistance: Nitrile rubber is highly resistant to oils, fuels, and other chemicals, making it an ideal choice for use in the automotive and aerospace industries. Its excellent oil resistance is due to the high percentage of acrylonitrile in its chemical composition.
- Abrasion Resistance: Nitrile rubber has good resistance to abrasion, making it suitable for use in applications where the rubber is subjected to wear and tear, such as conveyor belts and industrial hoses.
- Shock reduction and anti-vibration properties: HT800 Silicone is a valuable material for applications where vibration or shock reduction is necessary. It can absorb shock and vibration, reducing the amount of stress placed on other components.
- Compression Set: Nitrile rubber has a low compression set, which means it can maintain its shape even after prolonged compression. This property makes it an ideal choice for use in sealing and gasket applications.
What is Nitrile Rubber used for?
Nitrile rubber’s unique combination of properties, including excellent oil and chemical resistance, high tensile strength, and good abrasion resistance, make it an ideal material for a wide range of industrial applications. Here are some of the industries where nitrile rubber is commonly used:
Nitrile rubber is widely used in the aerospace industry due to its resistance to aviation fuels and hydraulic fluids. It is commonly used in the manufacture of fuel hoses, oil seals, and gaskets for aircraft engines, as well as in the construction of fuel tanks and other fluid handling systems. The exceptional chemical resistance of nitrile rubber also makes it an excellent choice for O-rings and other sealing applications.
The motorsport and automotive industries also heavily rely on nitrile rubber due to its oil and fuel resistance, as well as its excellent durability and temperature resistance. Nitrile rubber is commonly used in the manufacture of fuel systems, oil systems, and suspension components for high-performance race cars, as well as in the construction of tires and other rubber parts. In addition, nitrile rubber is also used in the production of air intake hoses, coolant hoses, and other engine components.
Nitrile rubber’s resistance to oils, chemicals, and other substances makes it a popular choice in the medical industry. It is often used in the production of medical gloves, catheters, and other medical equipment. Nitrile gloves, in particular, have gained popularity due to their superior puncture resistance, comfort, and chemical resistance compared to other types of gloves.
Nitrile rubber is also widely used in the footwear industry due to its excellent abrasion resistance and durability. It is commonly used in the production of outsoles, insoles, and midsoles for a wide range of footwear, from work boots to athletic shoes.
Nitrile rubber is also used in a wide range of industrial applications, particularly for sealing and gasketing. Its excellent resistance to oils, fuels, and other chemicals make it an ideal material for industrial seals, gaskets, and hoses. Nitrile rubber is also used in the construction of conveyor belts, food processing equipment, and other machinery.
Overall, nitrile rubber’s versatility and durability make it a popular choice across a wide range of industries. Its unique properties make it well-suited for use in applications where resistance to oils, fuels, and other chemicals is required, as well as in applications where abrasion resistance and durability are important.
Benefits of Nitrile Rubber
Nitrile rubber offers numerous benefits for various industrial applications. Some of the key benefits include:
Nitrile rubber is highly durable and can withstand harsh environmental conditions, including exposure to chemicals and oils. Its ability to resist wear and tear makes it suitable for use in applications that require long-term performance.
Oil and Fuel Resistance
Nitrile rubber is highly resistant to oils and fuels, making it an ideal choice for applications in the automotive, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. Its resistance to these substances ensures that it can provide reliable performance even in environments with high exposure to oils and fuels
Nitrile rubber has a closed-cell structure that provides an effective barrier against water absorption. This property makes it highly resistant to water and suitable for use in applications that require water resistance, such as gaskets, seals, and hoses.
High Temperature Resistance
Nitrile rubber can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for use in applications that require high-temperature resistance. Its ability to maintain its shape and properties even under extreme temperatures ensures that it can provide consistent performance over an extended period
Nitrile rubber is highly flexible and can be easily moulded into different shapes and sizes. This property makes it suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including automotive, medical, and industrial applications.
Nitrile rubber is a cost-effective material that offers numerous benefits and can provide efficient solutions for various industrial applications. Its versatility and durability make it a popular choice for manufacturers looking for cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality.
What are the different types of Nitrile Rubber?
Nitrile rubber comes in various types, each designed for specific applications. Here we will discuss the most common types and their benefits.
- Commercial Grade Nitrile Rubber is a widely used general-purpose material known for its excellent resistance to oils, fuels, and chemicals. It has good tensile strength, elongation, and abrasion resistance properties. It is also resistant to water and most hydraulic fluids. This makes it ideal for gaskets, seals, and hoses in the automotive industry.
- British Standard Specification BS2751 Nitrile Rubber is a high-quality material that meets the British Standard specification for oil-resistant nitrile rubber sheeting. It is widely used in the oil and gas industry, as well as in food processing and other industries where oil and chemical resistance is crucial. It has excellent tensile strength, elongation, and resistance to abrasion and tearing.
- Fuel Grade Nitrile Rubber is a specialist material designed specifically for use in the fuel and oil industries. It has excellent resistance to fuels, oils, and other chemicals commonly found in fuel systems. It also has good tensile strength and elongation properties, making it ideal for use in fuel hoses and seals.
- Nitrile Nylon Insertion Diaphragm Rubber is a material that combines the properties of nitrile rubber with the strength and durability of nylon fabric. It is suitable for instances including where LPG and CNG, mineral oils, water and compressed air are present, as well as offering good tensile strength and elongation properties. This makes it ideal for use in diaphragms, seals and gaskets in industries such as oil and gas, chemical, and food processing.
- PVC/Nitrile Closed-Cell Sponge Rubber is a soft and flexible material that offers excellent resistance to weathering and exposure to oil and grease. Used for a wide range of sealing, noise, thermal insulation, electrical cable insulation or gap filling applications. The sponge rubber meets BS276 Class 0 fire retardancy requirements and is often used for automotive and industrial applications due to its good density and compressibility, allowing it to conform to irregular surfaces.
In conclusion, the type of nitrile rubber used depends on the specific requirements of the application. While commercial grade nitrile is suitable for general-purpose use, BS2752 nitrile is ideal for oil and gas applications, and fuel grade nitrile is designed specifically for use in fuel systems. Nitrile nylon insertion diaphragm sheet is a versatile material that combines the properties of nitrile rubber with the strength and durability of nylon fabric, while PVC/nitrile sponge is a soft and flexible material that offers excellent cushioning properties.
Through decades of experience in the supply of elastomeric materials, we have developed a comprehensive catalogue of rubber & sponge materials including Commercial Grade Nitrile, British Standard BS2751 Nitrile, Fuel Grade Nitrile, Nitrile & Nylon Insertion Diaphragm and PVC/Nitrile Closed-Cell Sponge. The materials have been selected by our team due their outstanding properties, benefits and multitude of applications and are available to purchase in a range of Shore A hardness grades, thicknesses and sizes through our easy-to-use online shop.
Commercial Grade Nitrile is one of our most popular and widely used grades of Nitrile rubber, offering a cost-effective material that still holds important oil, fuel and chemical resistance capabilities. CQ Nitrile is available in varying thicknesses from 1.5mm to 6mm thick (other thicknesses available upon request), standard sheet sizes measuring 1.4 metres wide and in any length from 1 metre to a full 10 metre roll.
BS2751 Nitrile is part of our buy-online range of British Standard Specification elastomers. The material is available in various Shore A hardness grades from BA40 to BA70, thicknesses from 0.5mm to 6mm thick (other thicknesses available upon request) and at 1.4 metres wide. You can purchase the material in any length from 1 metre to 10 metres.
Fuel Grade Nitrile is well suited for applications where harsh fuels, oils and chemicals are present, particularly in the aerospace or automotive sectors. The high-performance elastomer is available in 65 shore A and thicknesses from 1.5mm to 6mm thick (other thicknesses available upon request). We offer Fuel Grade Nitrile online in both full sheets (1.4 metres x 1m – 10m lengths) or in cut rubber strip form. Our Cut Strip option includes any width from 12mm to 50mm (contact us for alternative widths) and is sold in standard lengths of 5 metres.
Nitrile (NBR) Nylon Insertion Diaphragm Rubber sheet is manufactured using nylon to reinforce black NBR Nitrile, designed to give sustained performance and longevity in a range of instances where LPG, CNG, mineral oils, water and compressed air are present. The specialist material is available to purchase online in 4 thicknesses (0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.65mm, 0.8mm), supplied in 1.4 metre lengths and any length from 2 metres to a 10 metre roll.
Unlike the other rubber materials discussed in this blog, PVC/Nitrile is a closed-cell sponge material, offering a unique set of properties in comparison to CQ, BS and Fuel Grade Nitrile. The soft sponge rubber material is used for sealing, noise and thermal insulation applications, offering excellent compressibility and resistance to weathering, oil and grease. PVC/Nitrile is classified to BS476 Class 0 building regulations and will protect surfaces from the spread of flames, limiting the amount of heat released during a fire. The high-performance closed-cell sponge rubber is available in cut-strip form via our online shop, available in a range of thicknesses from 3mm to 25mm thick, any width from 12mm to 150mm and sold in standard coil lengths of 10m.