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What are Elastomers?

11/8/2013 7:54:56 AM | by Anonymous


Elastomers are thermo sets that require vulcanization but may also be thermoplastic. Vulcanization is the long polymer chains cross link during curing. Molecular structure of elastomers can be imagined as a ‘spaghetti and meatball’ structure with the meatballs signifying the cross links. The elasticity is derived from the ability of the long chains to reconfigure and distribute an applied stress.


The covalent cross linkages can ensure that the elastomer will return to its original configuration when the stress is removed. Elastomers can be extremely flexible and reversible extend from 5-700 percent depending on the specific material. If without the cross linkages, it is uneasily to reconfigured the chains and applied stress as it would result to permanent deformation.


Temperature effects can demonstrate elasticity of a polymer and have cooled to be a glassy or crystalline phase will have less elasticity and mobile chains than those manipulated at temperatures higher than the glass transition temperature of the polymer. Furthermore, it is also possible for a polymer to exhibit elasticity that is not due to the covalent cross links instead of thermodynamic reasons.


Elastomer is a polymer with viscoelasticity that has high failure strain compared to other materials. These elastomers are amorphous polymer that exists above their glass transition temperature so that there is a considerable segmental motion. Each of these monomers can link to form a polymer and is made of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and silicon.


At the ambient temperatures, rubbers are relatively soft and deformable. Their primary uses are for adhesives, seals and molded flexible parts. The application areas for the different types of rubber are manifold and cover segments as diverse as shoe soles, tires as well as insulating and dampening elements. The importance of these rubbers are judged from the fact that the global revenues are forecast to rise to US$56 billion in 2020.


The main characteristic of elastomer materials is the high flexibility and elongation of these materials that against cracking or breaking. The distribution and degree of the chemical bonds of the elastomeric materials and polymers can have characteristics that are similar to thermo sets or thermoplastics. They are classified into thermo set elastomers which do not melt when heated and thermoplastics elastomers which can melt when heated.


The properties of elastomer materials are flexible, elastic, insoluble and swell in the presence of certain solvents as well as they can lower creep resistance than the thermoplastic materials.

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