Rubber has a seemingly endless amount of applications in manufacturing, finding use in automobiles, medicine, defense, petroleum, and many other industries. With inherent weatherproofing, flexibility, and fatigue resistance, rubber's utility cannot be understated. Two of the many products made from rubber are tubing and cords, which may be implemented in household and industrial projects. In this blog, we will highlight everything you need to know about these two practical rubber products, including their designs, types, and applications.
Rubber tubing may also be described as rubber piping, as its primary function is to transport liquids, gasses, or other media through a facility or home. Depending on the application, they may be made with natural or synthetic rubber derivatives, both with varying amounts of elasticity. The first step in the manufacturing process is the roll, in which long strips are rolled together. Here, the color and wall thickness are determined. Thickness is generally chosen based on the type of media to be transported, as well as the pressure of the intended system. Meanwhile, colors are typically used to classify tubes when multiple are used.
After being rolled, the rubber then enters a mill that heats the material as it spins, thereby smoothing out any inconsistencies in texture. The pieces are then cut into equal parts before being added to the mandrel machine, which carefully wraps the strips into tubes of varying diameters. Next, the tubes are coated with a strong synthetic material to increase durability and longevity. After the coating is applied, the semi-finished tube is wrapped with wet nylon tape to bind the layers together. This tape is only placed temporarily and is removed shortly after the vulcanization process.
There are a wide variety of materials that may be selected to compose rubber tubing. Whether natural or synthetic, the choice of material comes down to the specialized application in which the tubing will be used. Listed below are some of the most common materials used in tubing manufacturing:
Fluoroelastomer Rubber Tubing (FKM)
FKM can operate in a multitude of operating conditions, with innate resistance to chemicals, oil, and high temperature. The fluorine content of the material may vary between batches, but it always accounts for a majority of composition by weight.
Natural Rubber Tubing (NR)
Natural rubber primarily consists of isoprene and a trace amount of other compounds. It is waterproof and can be stretched on its vertical and horizontal axis. Those factors, along with its incredible tensile strength, make natural rubber one of the leading materials used in manufacturing globally. However, natural rubber decreases in longevity significantly when exposed to oil, fuels, or solvents.
Neoprene Rubber Tubing
Made from various inorganic compounds, neoprene is a synthetic material that can perform optimally under a broad range of operating temperatures. While it is generally the number one choice for oil transporting applications, it cannot be implemented in an electrically charged environment due to its conductivity.
Thermoplastic Rubber Tubing (TPE)
TPE is unique for its ability to withstand highly-acidic operating environments. It can also be stretched to outstanding lengths without deformation, making it a great choice in spaces with complex piping systems.
Rubber cords are very similar in manufacturing and function to tubing, with the difference being a solid core instead of a hollow one. These versatile pieces of rubber may be cut and molded into a variety of components, such as gaskets and O-rings. They are similarly made from synthetic and natural rubber derivatives, which are selected based on the demands of the application.
If your project demands high quality rubber tubing or cord of any configuration, look no further than Aviation Gamut. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we give customers direct access to an inventory of over 2 billion ready-to-purchase items for the industrial, aviation, and IT markets. Additionally, we are an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited enterprise with a NO-CHINA Sourcing pledge, representing our ongoing commitment to our customers. Submit an RFQ form to begin the purchasing process today and experience the ASAP difference.
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