“Have you tried using one of those red rubber gaskets?”
If you’ve worked on gaskets, you’ve likely seen SBR in use before. Commonly recognized as ‘that red rubber gasket,’ SBR is a popular material that often plays a valuable role in sealing projects.
Over the years, Strouse has had the opportunity to help design and build SBR gaskets used in many different automotive and industrial applications. These experiences have allowed us to recognize the rubber’s properties and determine when it might be the right fit.
If you’re considering using an SBR gasket in your project, you’ll want to ensure it’s a suitable material for the job. Once you’ve read through the pros and cons of using them, you’ll better understand whether an SBR gasket suits your solution.
What is an SBR Gasket?
SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber, red rubber, or Buna-S) is a synthetic material used as a natural rubber substitute in different applications and products.
Manufacturers use styrene-butadiene rubber in tires, tubes, washers, grommets, and gaskets for automotive, electrical, and general manufacturing purposes. SBR gaskets are also a common component in HVAC and plumbing applications.
Should I Choose an SBR Gasket for My Project?
Depending on your ultimate project goal, SBR could be the right material for you. Specific properties, such as age resistance, help make SBR gaskets long-lasting, but a lack of other resistances could make them unsuitable for other applications.
- Excellent abrasion resistance and tensile strength
- Resists cracks and other aging characteristics
SBR offers many of the same benefits as natural rubber at a lower price point, making it highly appealing and common for manufacturers to use.
Note that it has a moderate temperature range for a gasket, from about -67°F to 158°F (-55°C to 70°C), making it suitable for some, but not all, high-temperature projects
- Lack of UV and ozone resistance
- Doesn’t hold up against chemicals, strong acids, greases, or fats
- Hardens with excessive heat and becomes brittle
Despite SBR’s tensile strength, it’s still vulnerable to several weathering factors like ozone. Using an SBR gasket in a heavy ozone situation will result in cracks and potential seal failure, making it unsuitable for certain outdoor and high-voltage applications.
Another disadvantage of SBR gaskets is that they lack resistance to oils and fuels such as gasoline or other hydrocarbon solvents. Unlike nitrile rubber gaskets, which thrive under this type of application, SBR gaskets will degrade.
Building the Right Gasket
By this point, you’ve most likely learned which factors to pay attention to when creating a gasket. But in a sea of millions of products, how can you not only choose the best gasket material, but also find the right supplier to provide it?
Don’t let your project fall behind schedule simply because you’re unsure of which material to use. Instead, consider reaching out to a flexible material converter for advice on materials, suppliers, designs, scaling up your production, and more.
Still looking for more resources? If you’re hoping to read more about different gasket materials, see our Learning Center for additional information.