The original elastomeric material, natural gum rubber sheet is still the best in many ways. Made from the sap of rubber trees, it was only superseded when supply worries led to the development of SBR and similar synthetic rubbers.
Natural gum rubber is extraordinarily strong, elastic and abrasion and tear resistant. (Tensile strength is around 2,800 psi and elongation is 550%.) It’s also flexible and strongly resists taking a compression set. Chemically, it’s resistant to attack by water, acids, alkalis, ammonia and organic salts, (citrates, sorbates and stearates are examples.)
Tensile Strength: 2,800 psi
Temperature Range: -40°F to 140°F
Thickness: 1/64” to ¼”
Width: 48”; Natural Gum Rubber Sheet is cut to your specifications.
Natural gum rubber is however inferior to modern synthetic rubbers in several ways. It has a narrower useful temperature range, (-40 to 140 °F), poor weather-resistance, and is susceptible to attack by a range of chemicals. More specifically, UV light and ozone will quick degrade the flexibility of natural rubber, which makes it unsuitable for outdoor use. It’s also attacked by hydrocarbon solvents, oils and gasoline.
Good applications for natural gum rubber sheet are those needing impact absorption and/or cushioning as well as elasticity and abrasion and tear resistance. Impact absorbing strips and bumpers are good examples, (providing they are used indoors.)
Natural rubber sheet material is available in 48” width. Material thickness varies from 1/64” up to ¼”.