Solid Rubber vs Sponge Rubber: What are the Key Differences?

Gilca | 30th June 2022

Solid Rubber

Both solid and sponge rubber are used for their elastic properties across a range of industries for insulation, sealing, shock absorption and many other applications. They can be naturally or synthetically made from compounds such as silicone, neoprene and EPDM. But what is the difference between solid and sponge rubber, and how do you choose between the two?

What Is Solid Rubber?

Made from rubber materials such as neoprene, Actrite, and EPDM, solid rubber does not contain any air pockets within its structure. It typically comes in a solid rubber strip, sheet, or roll form, which can then be cut for use.

Measured on a durometer scale, solid rubber can be manufactured in a range of hardness from soft to very hard. This affects the properties of the rubber; however, solid rubber can generally be defined as a denser, harder, and stiffer material compared to sponge rubber.

Because it is a solid material, solid rubber is watertight, durable, and has insulating properties. It is commonly used for shock absorption in vehicles and machinery, for seals and gaskets, and for the transportation of liquids, including water.

Benefits Of Solid Rubber

The properties of solid rubber depend on the compound it is made from, as well as the hardness of the material. Generally, however, the advantages of solid rubber include:

Increased Versatility for A Range of Industries

The availability of rubber in a range of material types and hardness, ranging from the strongest rubber material to the most flexible and soft – such as a pencil rubber - means solid rubber can be used across a range of industries, continuing to meet industry standards.

  • Medical
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Oil and gas
  • Manufacturing

 

Solid Rubber Is Resistant to Water, Dust, And Gases

Solid rubber’s resistance to liquids, gases, and dust mean it has great sealing properties. Because solid rubber does not contain any interconnected pockets of air within its structure, it cannot absorb or carry liquids through its structure. Depending on the material type, resistance to liquids can include oils, acids and alkalis, and other chemicals.

Increased Durability

Solid rubber is a durable material. It has less cushioning than sponge rubber, meaning compression and indentation will not affect the integrity of the material, as often found with cellular rubber like foam or sponge rubber.

Materials such as silicone and neoprene are further heat resistant, whilst EDPM has great water, UV, and ozone resistance.

What Is Sponge Rubber and How Does It Work?

Sponge rubber is a type of cellular rubber, available in different hardness and material types, similarly to solid rubber. The key difference between the two is that sponge rubber contains air pockets within its structure; these pockets can be interconnected or isolated bubbles – referring to open or closed cell sponge rubber respectively.

Sponge rubber has a good strength-to-weight ratio and is used for cushioning, shock absorption, soundproofing, and thermal insulation amongst other applications across multiple industries.

The properties of sponge rubber depend on the material, and whether it contains open or closed cells. Open cell sponge rubber is porous, and can be used for general purpose cleaning sponges, makeup sponges, and aquatic filtration. Closed cell sponge rubber, on the other hand, such as EPDM cellular rubber, is water-tight, and can be used for sealing applications both indoor and outdoor.

Leaning Towards Solid Rubber? Discover The Key Benefits of Switching to Gilca’s Sponge Rubber By…

… checking out our detailed guide here. Alternatively, you can speak to a member of our highly experienced and friendly team today on +44(0) 121 544 1929 or by sending an email to info@gilca.biz. You can also get in touch with a member of the Gilca team by utilising our quick contact form below. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.