What is Nitrile Rubber?

Nitrile rubber, also known as Buna-N or NBR, is a synthetic copolymer of acrylonite (ACN) and butadiene. First developed by a German pharmaceutical conglomerate in 1931, commercial production of nitrile rubber began in 1935 and is now widely used in a range of industries in addition to medical and pharmaceutical, particularly the food, automotive, aerospace, nuclear and power generation industries.

nitrile rubber

Why choose Nitrile Rubber?

In 2022, nitrile is now one of the most popular sealing materials used, owing to its wide range of advantageous characteristics. If you are considering choosing nitrile for your application, read on to ensure that it is a suitable material.

Excellent resistance qualities

NBR material is often chosen for its resistance to aliphatic hydrocarbons, petroleum-based oils and fuels, hydraulic fluids and water. Nitrile also functions well within a wide temperature range of between -20℃ and 100℃, retaining its strength and flexibility even at low temperatures.

As a result of these properties, nitrile is a common material across applications within the automotive industry. The water resistant characteristics of nitrile also make it well suited to food and pharmaceutical uses.

Strength and abrasion properties

In addition to resistance to oils, fuels and a wide range of temperatures, Nitrile is also widely chosen for its high tensile strength, abrasion resistance and durability, even when faced with high temperatures. 

As a result of the above properties, nitrile rubber is used for a wide range of common applications for industries such as automotive, petrochemical, aerospace and military, including gaskets and O-rings. Nitrile rubber sheet is suitable for a range of manufacturing techniques, for example, it can be cut into gaskets, washers or strips, or used in fabrication, extrusion and moulding processes.

Limitations to be aware of

Whilst NBR material is widely used, there are certain limitations to be aware of when choosing sealing materials for certain applications. Whilst nitrile resists temperature, oils and fuels, it is not compatible with applications where it will be exposed to ozone, sunlight and weather conditions over long periods. 

For applications where fire and smoke resistance is important, high grades of nitrile rubber should be specified.

Contact CB Frost

If you have questions about nitrile rubber material in relation to your application, our knowledgeable sales team is on hand to help ensure you specify the best suited material for your needs.

We supply an extensive catalogue of rubber materials to suit all applications. Whether you are looking for prototypes or custom one-offs, or are in need of high production volumes, we have the materials and manufacturing capabilities to ensure the success of your application.

Call us on 0121 773 8494 or contact us here.


For more information or advice

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