Washington Physicians Blog What is Polymeric Rubber?

What is Polymeric Rubber?

polymeric rubber

Whether used as a sport surface or multi-use games area (MUGA) polymeric rubber is very popular in schools, clubs and leisure centres. It is a porous material that offers excellent ball bounce and slip resistance properties. When installed correctly by a specialist such as Sportsafe, it is also SuDS compliant.

It is a MUGA formed from catalyzing monomers such as butadiene, styrene, isoprene, chloroprene, acrylonitrile and ethylene to form long chains. Additions of protectants, plasticizers, curatives and fillers produce different types of rubber. All polymers have a glassy state below their characteristic “glass transition temperature” where they are stiff and bulky and free motion of the molecules is hindered by severe crowding.

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Natural rubber is sensitive to ozone cracking and requires vulcanisation to improve its resilience and tensile strength. Synthetic rubbers are less sensitive to ozone cracking because they do not possess the weakened allylic C-H bonds of natural rubber and contain only cis-1,4 double bonding in the polymer backbone.

Rubbers are characterized by their stress-strain behavior exhibited by Mullins and Payne effects, strain crystallization, deformation-induced brittleness, and softening and ultimate fracture. Their modulus decreases with increasing strain, and this can be attributed to the breaking of some crosslinks at higher strains, microcracks around crack precursors, and growth of microcracks in a brittle polymer such as rubber.

Polymeric rubbers have good resistance to ozone, oxidation, chemicals, weathering and high and low temperatures. Their good mechanical properties are due to the large number of alternating carbon-oxygen bonds, a very strong hydrogen bonding between the molecules and the high degree of interlinking.

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