Gums are divided into two main types: natural and synthetic. The former are obtained from the latex of some tropical plants, while the latter are produced from hydrocarbons. Today there are many varieties of synthetic rubbers, such as EPDM, SBR, NBR, FMQ, VMQ and CR. Each of these has different mechanical and chemical resistance characteristics. Rubbers have many uses: from gaskets to vibration dampers, from suspensions to anti-slip mats, from footwear to tires, from electrical cable insulation to hoses for various applications, from conveyor belts to dinghies to floats.
Their hardness is measured in Shore degrees. It ranges from 35 to 60 degrees A for natural rubbers and 55 to 80 degrees A for synthetic rubbers. The higher the grade, the greater the hardness. There are also foam rubbers, also called mousse. They are softer and allow excellent seals with low tightening. They can be closed, semi-closed or open cells. Among polyester rubbers, there are some particular ones such as Vulkollan, Adiprene, and Vulcaprene, which are very resistant to traction, tearing, and abrasion, and also resist air at high temperatures.
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