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And gasketshigh- and low-tempera- ture insulation seals

13.13 Elastomers 431

Several plastics exhibit especially outstanding properties. For applications in which optical transparency is critical, polystyrene and polymethyl methacrylate are especially well suited; however, it is imperative that the material be highly amor-phous or, if semicrystalline, have very small crystallites. The fluorocarbons have a low coefficient of friction and are extremely resistant to attack by a host of chemicals, even at relatively high temperatures. They are utilized as coatings on nonstick cookware, in bearings and bushings, and for high-temperature electronic compo-nents.


Trade Useful

Typical Applications


(Common) Elongation
Name (%)


Natural poly-

500–760 �60 to 120

Gasoline, chemical, and oil hose; seals and O-rings; heels and soles

Wire and cable; chem.
tank linings; belts, hoses, seals, and gaskets

isoprene Rubber (�75 to 250)
(NR) gouging, and abrasion; low
GRS, 450–500 �60 to 120

Good physical properties; excel-


Buna S (�75 to 250) lent abrasion resistance; not
copolymer (SBR) oil, ozone, or weather resis-
Buna A, 400–600 �50 to 150 Excellent resistance to vegeta-
Nitrile (�60 to 300) ble, animal, and petroleum
(NBR) oils; poor low-temperature


properties; electrical proper-
ties not outstanding


Neoprene 100–800 �50 to 105
(CR) (�60 to 225) weathering resistance; good
100–800 �115 to 315

Excellent resistance to high and

(VMQ) (�175 to 600)

low temperatures; low


For many applications (e.g., automobile tires), the mechanical properties of even vulcanized rubbers are not satisfactory in terms of tensile strength, abrasion and tear resistance, and stiffness. These characteristics may be further improved by additives such as carbon black �(Section 15.2).�
Finally, some mention should be made of the silicone rubbers. For these materi-als, the backbone carbon chain is replaced by a chain that alternates silicon and oxygen atoms:




13.14 FIBERS

The fiber polymers are capable of being drawn into long filaments having at least a 100 : 1 length-to-diameter ratio. Most commercial fiber polymers are utilized in the textile industry, being woven or knit into cloth or fabric. In addition, the aramid fibers are employed in composite materials, �Section 15.8.� To be useful as a textile material, a fiber polymer must have a host of rather restrictive physical and chemical properties. While in use, fibers may be subjected to a variety of mechanical deforma-tions—stretching, twisting, shearing, and abrasion. Consequently, they must have a high tensile strength (over a relatively wide temperature range) and a high modulus of elasticity, as well as abrasion resistance. These properties are governed by the chemistry of the polymer chains and also by the fiber drawing process.

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