Elastomers are plastics that have common properties under tensile and compressive load. They react to deformation forces within the service temperature with an elastic behavior, so that they do not maintain the change in shape.
Instead, they return to their original shape after being relieved, although they do not always fully resume this shape. The elastic behavior distinguishes elastomers from other plastics such as thermosets and thermoplastics.
- Elastomer: deformable over a wide temperature range
- Thermoset: no longer deformable after curing
- Thermoplastic: can only be deformed after reheating
The molecular structure of plastics is decisive for their different behavior.
#1 Definition of elastomers
Elastomers are particularly long-chain polymers used in the production of plastics. They are characterized by their elastic deformability under tension and compression.
#2 Importance of elastomers
Elastomers are the primary material used in sealing technology. Elastomers form the basis for almost all common sealing materials, particularly in the area of O-rings. The most common elastomer-based O-ring materials include: