This form of synthetic rubber is useful because it is resistant to oil, fuel and other chemicals due to the nitrile within the polymer. The higher the nitrile levels, the higher the rubber’s resistance to chemicals will be. However, raising the nitrile level will lower the flexibility of the material. Nitrile rubber molding can be useful in many applications if the appropriate balance of chemical resistance and flexibility can be maintained.
Nitrile rubber molding is widely used in the automotive and aeronautical industries to make hoses, seals, and rubber grommets since ordinary rubber would only break down when exposed to fuel during regular use. Nitrile rubber has the ability to withstand temperatures from -40 degrees Celsius to 180 degrees Celsius, which makes it the ideal material for many aeronautical applications.
People working in nuclear and scientific research use gloves made from nitrile because they offer such good protection from harmful chemicals and dangerous high temperatures.
Nitrile rubber can be made using a hot or cold process. In the hot process, the necessary chemicals are mixed in a tank that is set to 30 or 40 degrees Celsius. After being allowed to react for a few hours, the substance receives additives to stop the reaction process.
After being filtered and stabilized, the substance is washed and dried. At this point, it is ready to be molded into a product using either a compression or injection molding process.
The cold process takes place in a similar polymerization tank that is such to a much cooler temperature. In these conditions, the polymers will not branch as much, so the end result will be a product that looks notably different from nitrile rubber made with heat.
Nitrile rubber is often manufactured in large quantities and then molded into a product at another facility. Some nitrile rubber producers also manufacture products, but most sell their nitrile rubber to product manufacturers who mold the rubber in their own plant to form something that meets their specifications.