EPDM stands for Ethelyne Propylene Diene Monomer and is a man-made rubber. It has inert chemical properties which enable it to offer solid all-round performance for many industrial applications, as well as superb resistance to the effects of weather. The reason for this is because it is an excellent electrical insulator and has outstanding resistance to steam, ozone and heat. It also has superb colour stability and is odour free.
Items made from EPDM rubber are ideal for when temperatures are higher than 100c as they are able to keep their shape and continue to perform. In addition to high temperatures, EPDM is used in environments where the following is likely to be present: steam and water, phosphate ester based hydraulic fluids, silicone oils and greases, alcohol, ketones, dilute acids and alkalis.
However, EPDM is not suitable for use in some specific cases, as the use of the material should be avoided with fuel and oils. This is because the EPDM is likely to degrade quickly after coming into contact with them. Substances to be avoided include gasoline, aromatic and kerosene. Halogenated solvents are also not compatible.
Where is it used?
EPDM is used for many applications including door seals, sheeting, o-rings, tubing, solar panel heat collectors, belts, washers and gaskets. This type of rubber is used as a water-resistant barrier in roofing membranes, electrical cable-jointing, vulcanizates, geomembranes, plastic impact modifications and thermoplastics amongst many other uses. For example, EPDM sponge is commonly used to make hard general-purpose gaskets, and for this reason are used in applications such as outdoor weather strips and low pressure pipe seals. This is because the sponge can deal with everything the weather can throw at it where other materials would quickly degrade.