Types of Rubber Used For Industrial Mats

Protection for commercial and residential floors is vital for their durability. The need for mats on these floors, however, goes far beyond their protection. They will also make the floors easy to clean and increase the comfort of users by minimising pain in their legs and hips and overall fatigue.

Commercial settings have different materials for their mats. Industrial rubber mats remain the popular choice for retail establishments since they come in different surface patterns and designs and can withstand the considerable traffic in these places.  Here are the different rubber categories used for mats.

Recycled Rubber

This is the inexpensive option used for mats. It comes from worn out tires from consumer trucks and cars. These tires are reclaimed and taken to milling machines which refine the shredded rubber pieces into granules. Impurities are then filtered from the rubber after which it is cleaned then mixed with EPDM coloured granules and urethane binding agents. Mats made from recycled rubber are unfortunately not as tear resistant and strong as other options. They can be used in all industries, but in places with pets and fur, the mats should be sealed to make cleaning easier.

Vulcanized Rubber

This is also made from recycled rubber but unlike the latter uses the buffing. This is the outer part of tires which is easier to process since it has no wires and belts. The buffings are broken down and mixed with oil, sulfur and coloured granules if need be. The coloured granules included in vulcanized rubber are UV-resistant unlike those in recycled rubber. The mixture is baked at a pressure of 500-1000PSI and temperatures of 300-500 degrees. This results in a non-porous material with a tensile strength score of 800-1000PSI which can be textured to boost its slip resistance by about 10%. Vulcanized rubber mats are moderately priced.

Virgin Rubber

This rubber consists of approximately 5% crude oil, SBR and EPDM synthetic rubber polymers. Some variants of virgin rubber comprise a fire retardant additive which makes it ideal for industries that are fire-prone. The mixture is heated using steam at 350 degrees and pressures of 2000PSI. The resultant material is then trimmed and cooled. Though expensive, virgin rubber mats are attractive, non-porous and more resilient compared to other options. They have compression recovery testing yields of at least 90% making them suitable for industries at risk of considerable weight drops.

Synthetic Rubber

Synthetic rubber mat

This is made from different petroleum compounds including PVC, Nitrile, EPDM or Viton. Synthetic rubber mats are often energy-efficient, stain-resistant and low impact. Though more costly compared to most options, the mats are very durable, and hence this justifies the investment.  Synthetic rubber mats might, however, have some VOC off-gassing.

The addition of different elements can further enhance the properties of the above types of rubber. The rubber mats can hence be ribbed, grease-resistant, chemical-resistant or ESD {electrostatic discharge}-resistant. You can also opt for heated rubber mats which include coils and wires for heating in industries with cold environments. You are hence assured to get a rubber mat that will match your industry’s needs.

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