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.
|Reinforced Rubber Sheeting||Rubber Coated|
|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.