A Quick Guide to Common Elastomers & Their Traits

Elastomer selection is a critical decision process when you need material to stand up to a given set of environmental conditions. Let one of Aero’s experienced Sales Engineers assist by providing you options from which to choose and the advantages and limitations of each. Arm yourself with the information needed to make an informed selection. The elastomer selection chart below contains key information. Use it as a guide when selecting an elastomer that will work best for your project.

Before making your final choice, call Aero Rubber and speak with one of our experienced sales engineers. They will fill in any gaps you may have and present you with additional options that may not be so obvious. Then, they will be happy to provide you with a competitive quote for the material you ultimately select. Call (800) 662-1009 Now!

As you select an elastomer, remember:

  • All of the traits of rubber are trade-offs. If a polymer is good for something, it is usually bad at something else. It is important to know what the rubber (aka “elastomer”) will be used for and where it will be exposed.
  • Each rubber manufacturer has their own elastomer recipes. Each one is a trade secret.
  • A rubber compound can be a blend of two or more elastomers (elastomers are major ingredients in different rubber compounds). This formulation recipe influences the finished part’s function, service life and competitive pricing.
  • The chosen elastomers’ formulation (recipe) will affect the physical properties of the part, its function and service life. It is the user’s responsibility to test a sample part or lab sample to determine the performance characteristics and suitability of the compound for the specific function and service life.
  • Use the information presented herein only as a general “guide”. We cannot guarantee its completeness, nor accuracy, nor assume responsibility for its use due to the myriad of combinations and uses.
Elastomer Questions Choose an Elastomer Guide

Questions we’ll ask!

  • What will the part be used as?
  • Is there a specific material specification needed such as ASTM or Military Spec?
  • Will it need to hold up to any harsh conditions or chemicals? In use or cleaning!
  • Under what conditions will it be used?

Elastomer Compatibility Chart

Elastomer CharacteristicsTemp.
Ozone ResistanceUV ResistanceGrease/Oil ResistanceFuel ResistanceSolvent ResistanceAbrasion ResistanceTear ResistanceTensile StrengthNon-Latex
Elastomer Common Names
Natural Rubber Gum Rubber Polyisoprene
-55° F to 200° FPoorPoorPoorPoorPoorGoodGoodExcellentNo
Synthetic Natural Synthetic Polyisoprene-55° F to 200° FPoorPoorPoorPoorPoorGoodGoodExcellentYes
Neoprene Chloroprene Polychloroprene-40° F to 220° FGoodGoodGoodFairPoorFairGoodGood-FairYes
Nitrile Buna ‘N’ NBR-30° F to 250° FPoorPoorExcellentExcellentExcellentFairGoodGood-FairYes
Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (HNBR) -20° F to 300° FPoorPoorExcellentExcellentFairFairGoodExcellent-GoodYes
SBR Buna ‘S’ GRS-20° F to 212° FGoodGoodPoorPoorPoorExcellentGoodGood-FairYes
EPDM EPT EP-60° F to 250° FExcellentExcellentPoorPoorPoorGoodGoodGood-FairYes
EPDM Peroxide Cured-60° F to 300° FExcellentExcellentPoorPoorPoorGoodExcellentExcellent-GoodYes
Silicone-100° F to 450° FExcellentExcellentPoorPoorPoorPoorPoorPoorYes
Fluorosilicone-100° F to 400° FExcellentExcellentGoodGoodGoodPoorPoorFairYes
Fluoroelastomer (FKM) Viton (DuPont) Fluorel (3-M)-10° F to 400° FExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellentGoodGoodGoodFairYes
Butyl-60° F to 250° FExcellentExcellentPoorPoorPoorGoodGoodGoodYes
Hypalon (trade name) (CSM) Chlorsulphonated Polyethylene -40° F to 250° FExcellentExcellentGoodGoodPoorGoodGoodGoodYes
Polyurethane (Ether or Ester Based)-90° F to 225° FExcellentExcellentExcellentGoodPoorExcellentExcellentExcellentYes

View and download the complete guide below to choose elastomers. This elastomer selection guide includes more tips and elastomer properties to help you. For your preference, we have included both the new full color guide and our original guide. Use the one that works best for you!

Elastomer selection guide - Choose Elastomers

How to choose Elastomers v.1

Note #1: The information provided above is for reference purposes only. It is intended to be utilized as a “guide” when comparing the typical physical properties of different materials. Aero recommends that the buyer perform any tests required to determine the performance characteristics and suitability of a particular material for a specific application and elastomer selection.

Note #2: A rubber compound can be a blend of two or more elastomers (when compatible) in order to influence the finished part’s function and service life as well as competitive pricing.

Note #3: “Typical Temperature Range” is unrelated to any particular use or application. It is a general guideline to compare with other elastomers. Field tests of part samples by the user and ASTM lab tests of compound slabs are necessary to determine functional acceptability and service life.

Note#4: Latex Free vs Non Latex – The FDA recommends using the term Non Latex. “The reason for this recommendation is that the agency is not aware of any tests that can show a product contains no natural rubber latex proteins that can cause allergic reactions. Without a way to verify that a product is completely free of these proteins, a claim that it is “latex free” is scientifically inaccurate and may be misleading.”