Rubber adhesion is not the simplest task because there are many different factors to consider. Finding the best rubber adhesive requires in-depth knowledge about rubber and its many different forms. The wide selection of industrial adhesives on the market can also be overwhelming.
Learn more about rubber and find out the best adhesive for rubber bonding.
What are the different types of rubber?
Although there are two main categories of rubber, there are dozens of different types. The rubber you are working with will help you determine which adhesive to use for rubber bonding.
Natural rubber is a highly resistant and waterproof material made from latex sap of trees. It can also be vulcanized to be used for industrial or commercial needs. This can be necessary in some cases because, in its natural form, rubber’s properties decrease its usability.
Synthetic rubbers are artificial elastomers, or polymers, which have the property of elasticity but are made from chemicals to substitute natural rubber. There are multiple types of synthetic rubber, such as nitrile, EPDM, SBR, butyl, silicone, and more.
Industries that use rubber
Rubber is an essential raw material for many different industries. It can be manufactured with a range of properties in mind, and can be hard, soft, foamy or spongy. Here are a few industries that use rubber.
Construction and manufacturing
Rubber is often used in construction and manufacturing due to its corrosion resistance. This raw material is used in tools (joints, seals, gaskets) as it is in other construction necessities and accessories, such as:
- Floor coverings and coatings
- Insulating materials
- Protective clothing
The medical and healthcare industry is one of the industries that uses latex rubber or natural rubber products the most. It is used in devices such as medical gloves, syringes, catheters and more. It is also often used in their medical equipment, such as in the rollers in medical chart recorders and medical imaging equipment.
The most commonly known use of rubber in the transportation industry is in tires and tubes for automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles. Rubber is also used in transmission systems, coatings, spare parts, flat seals, air bags, bumpers, car mats and more.
General consumer products
Beyond the above industries, there is also a wide range of products that we use daily that contain rubber, such as rainwear and shoes, large storage containers, balls for sports, cookware, garden tools, earplugs and much more!
There is clearly no end to the use of rubber.
Rubber bonding adhesives
No matter what type of rubber you are working with, you must prepare it adequately for bonding with a solvent degrease. This gets rid of any processing lubricants, mold release agents or other coatings on the rubber that could affect bonding. Isopropanol is ideal because other substances like acetone may be too harsh for rubber. Primer increases surface friction, which can also be necessary depending on the type of materials you are working with.
There are many different rubber adhesives, each useful for particular types of rubber.
Cyanoacrylate adhesive, commonly known as super glue, is generally the best adhesive for rubber bonding. You only need a very small amount and the bond becomes very strong and rigid almost instantly. If the joint falls apart after curing, it may be due to the type of rubber you are using. In this case, you may need a primer or a cyanoacrylate meant for difficult-to-bond rubber. Some of our popular cyanoacrylate adhesives are Adbond 5023HV-1, Adbond 5022-1 and Adbond 5034. With setting speeds ranging from 5 to 60 seconds, these are all ideal for quick assembly.
Because cyanoacrylate cures so quickly, joints cannot be realigned and the product cannot be used on larger areas because it will bond the spreader or roller. This results in limited gap fill and low flexibility. Whether this product is the best option for you depends on the types materials you are working with. You can always consult our experts for advice on the best product for your project.
Silicone adhesives are extremely versatile and used in many industries. They can be used to bond silicone rubber, among many other materials. Some of the properties of silicone adhesives are:
- UV resistance
- Temperature, chemical and moisture resistance
- Can provide electric insulation or conductivity
Silicone adhesives can sometimes be messier to use since they cure slowly. This also means that they are not as great for small item assembly on rapid production lines.
Structural acrylic adhesives and more
Structural acrylic adhesives cure slower than cyanoacrylates. This makes them easy to use for accurate alignment and spreading. These can be used for bonding tough plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene.
These were only a few examples of rubber bonding adhesives. There are also contact adhesives, solvent-based rubber bonders, epoxies and many more.
For any doubts, Adfast is here for you
In conclusion, although cyanoacrylate adhesives are often your best option for rubber bonding, many factors must be taken into account. In the end, choosing the best rubber adhesive can require help from an experienced professional such as Adfast.