Industrial rubber and plastics are not the most attention-grabbing subjects on the surface. Our associations with rubber are generally limited to the interactions we have with rubber in our daily lives and because these examples are neither numerous nor particularly remarkable: it is rare that you will ever meet someone with a particular loud or well. an informational view of rubber, industrial rubber or its manufacture. But there is a very interesting side to not only rubber manufacture but beyond that the often invisible range of applications it is suitable for: in fact, industrial rubber is a very important material in facilitating various processes, the results of which we take for granted.
Among the most common uses for industrial rubber is the manufacture of seals. A seal is a relatively simple piece of equipment that serves to help ensure that the equipment is watertight or airtight as it should be. Achieving a tight, reliable seal is critical in a number of industries. In the food and beverage industry, for example, rubber seals are needed for dosing machines, filling machines and as part of the canning process. Strong rubber seals also play an important role in wastewater treatment both in hydraulic systems and to prevent leaks at pipe joints – something that is especially important when sewage is involved! In steel and heavy industry, among several seal applications are test tube plugs and large diameter seals for manufacturing.
In addition to the rather obvious use of rubber in the manufacture of industrial seals, it is also used for goods that are used directly by the end user. From walking stick ferrules, to rubber foot pedals and doorstops – rubber can be found in many forms throughout homes and is even more widely used in car construction: mats and pedals in cab hatches, seals in engines and all examples of foam rubber throughout the vehicle are just usage examples.
Plastics are just as common in industry and manufacturing. PVC in particular is treated with a plasticizer to increase flexibility and is then used for equipment such as strip curtains, hoses and conduit. PVC hose used in conjunction with rubber seals is a very important component in many forms of industrial and agricultural machinery: not to mention the important role it plays in the food and beverage industry and the various tasks this combination is used for the consumer market. The industrial uses of rubber and plastics are so broad and widespread that it is more difficult to name an industry that does not use them than to remember the industries that do. They may not be the most interesting things to discuss but they are the basis of the infinite processes and objects that make up our modern society.