Guide to Rubber Sheeting, Reinforced Rubber Sheeting and Rubber Coated Textiles

At face value rubber sheeting, reinforced rubber sheeting and rubber coated textiles are simple products but take a closer look and a host of complexities become apparent. An understanding of some of the finer details will help designers and engineers be aware of the differences and specify better performing products.

Product Type Rubber
Sheeting
Reinforced Rubber Sheeting Rubber Coated
Textiles
RS RRS RCT
Description Rubber sheeting is a homogenous rubber sheet formed via the calendaring process. Precision sheeting made to tight tolerances has the same gauge from start to end and side to side. Reinforced rubber sheeting is a composite material, a rubber sheet that has a supporting material or ‘substrate’ inserted into the middle of the sheet. Rubber coated textiles are made by the spread coating or calender coating process. The textile forms the body of the product, a thin coating of rubber imparting additional technical properties.
Characteristics  Rubber sheeting can be engineered to have a range of hardnesses, compression, elongation, tensile and tear characteristics additional to the inherent qualities of the polymer.  See rubber sheeting but different supporting substrate provides augmented mechanical strength and dimensional stability characteristics Yarn type and textile weave can largely determine how the product acts and feels which the rubber extending the range of service environments.
Thickness  From 0.4mm to 12mm  From 0.8mm to 12mm  From 0.3mm to 0.8mm
Hardness Measured in ‘Shore’ or IRHD, can range from 30 (soft) to 90 (hard) Measured in ‘Shore’ or IRHD, can range from 30 (soft) to 90 (hard)  Measured in ‘Shore’ or IRHD, can range from 30 (soft) to 90 (hard)
Width Up to 1.85m depending on cure state and finish Up to 1.85m depending on cure state and finish Up to 2.0m depending on cure state and surface finish
Construction The construction describes how the different strata are composed. A single sheet can have a single or multiply construction featuring multiple rubbers and cure states See rubber sheet whilst also incorporating single of multiple substrates of varying types in the middle or off centre of the sheet. Excellent rubber to textile adhesion required.  Textiles can be coated on one or both sides with different rubbers. Multiple textiles can also be used that can ‘sandwich’ the rubber – a tri-laminate.
Cure state  Most rubber products go through a cure or vulcanisation cycle to impart the optimal properties. Sheeting supplied fully cured or uncured for further forming i.e. moulding  Same as rubber sheeting, different cure states on opposing faces. Same as rubber sheeting, different cure states on opposing faces.
Surface finish Relevant to cured sheeting, surface finish is the physical appearance that is imparted on the sheet surface. Smooth finish can create a better seal or textile finishes that don’t ‘block’ are possible. Different finishes on either face or ‘grooved’ finishes. Relevant to cured sheeting, surface finish is the physical appearance that is imparted on the sheet surface. Smooth finish can create a better seal or textile finishes that don’t ‘block’ are possible. Different finishes on either face or ‘grooved’ finishes.

The thin rubber coating often allows the weave pattern to show through, this can be smoothed off imparted textile finishes can be engineered.