- EPDM rubber
(ethylene propylene diene Monomer (M-class) rubber), a type of
synthetic rubber, is an elastomer which is characterized by a
wide range of applications. The E refers to Ethylene, P to
Propylene, D to diene and M refers to its classification in
ASTM standard D-1418. The “M” class includes rubbers having a
saturated chain of the polymethylene type.
Propylene Diene Monomer (or Terpolymer which is simply a product
consisting of three distinct monomers).
- EPDM is
classified as a Thermoset material which means it is either
fully-cured prior to being installed or that it cures during natural
weathering after installation.
- EPDM roofs are
single-ply membranes meaning there is only one ply of roofing
material, not multiple plies laminated together.
- EPDM is a rubber
material whose principal components consist of the compounds
ethylene and propylene. A flexible rubber matrix forms when a small
amount of diene is added to the mix.
- EPDM is available
reinforced or unreinforced with both commonly used; it's also
available in either a cured (vulcanized) or uncured (non-vulcanized)
state. Vulcanized EPDM is the most common with non-vulcanized often
used for flashing purposes.
- EPDM rubber is
used in vibrators and seals; glass-run channel; radiator, garden and
appliance hose; tubing; washers; belts; electrical insulation, and
speaker cone surrounds.
- EPDM is also used
as a medium for water resistance in electrical cable-jointing,
roofing membranes, geomembranes, rubber mechanical goods, plastic
impact modification, thermoplastic, vulcanizates, and many other
- EPDM exhibits
satisfactory compatibility with fireproof hydraulic fluids, ketones,
hot and cold water, and alkalis, and
unsatisfactory compatibility with most oils, gasoline, kerosene,
aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, halogenated solvents, and
- The main
properties of EPDM are its outstanding heat, ozone and weather
resistance. The resistance to polar substances and steam are also
good. It has excellent electrical insulating properties.
- EPDM is used as a
covering to waterproof roofs. It has the benefit that it does not
pollute the runoff rainwater, which is of
vital importance if the house owner wishes to use this water for
personal sanitation/hygiene. Several houses equipped with
rainwater harvesting thus make use of this type of roofing.
- Weather ability
is main benefit to EPDM's success, and a recent study showed that
new and aged nonreinforced EPDM roof assemblies offered a high
degree of hail resistance over a variety of roofing substrates,
including polyiso, wood fiber,
plywood and OSB board.
- Two types of EP
rubber are available in today's market. They are ethylene propylene
(EP) which uses a peroxide cure system and ethylene propylene diene
methylene terpolymer (EPDM) which uses a sulfur cure system. These
polymers are recognized for their resistance to weathering and high
temperatures. The EP rubbers have slightly better heat resistance
than the EPDM rubbers; however, the EPDM rubbers are easier to
process and manufacture.
- EPDM has achieved
a reputation in the industry as a long-lasting material, and
advancements in materials, techniques, and components have given
manufacturers the confidence to offer the industry's longest
warranties of thirty years.
- According to the
EPDM Roofing Association, EPDM market share in Europe is around 12
percent and growing, compared to 35 percent in the North America
where 20 billion-plus square feet has been installed on low-slope
roofs. There has also been continued growth of EPDM in the Middle
East and China.
- EPDM has been in
use on roofs in the USA since the 1960's and is one of the most
common types of low-slope roofing materials. This is because it is
relatively inexpensive, simple to install, and fairly clean to work
with when compared to conventional built-up roofs.
- In 2009, China's
automotive industry consumed approximately 80 thousand tons of EPDM
rubber, accounting for 42.11% of China's total. It is the biggest
EPDM rubber consumer in China. In coming years, with the constant
development of China's automobile industry, urban infrastructure and
rail transport, the demand for EPDM rubber will continue to increase
in China. It is expected that in 2014, China's total demand for EPDM
rubber will reach 240 000 tons.
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