butyl rubber (IIR), also called isobutylene-isoprene rubber, a synthetic rubber produced by copolymerizing isobutylene with small amounts of isoprene. Valued for its chemical inertness, impermeability to gases, and weatherability, butyl rubber is employed in the inner linings of automobile tires and in other specialty applications.

Butyl rubber can be used in adhesive formulations such as hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives for tape applications. While having a rubber base typically would make the adhesive sensitive to high heat exposure, these adhesives are specially formulated to be less sensitive to temperature variations.

Considered “butyl tapes”, butyl rubber offers these adhesives for tapes the following advantages:

  • High initial tack
  • High level of adhesion to a variety of substrates
  • Waterproof

Butyl rubber is the only known elastomer that is impervious to gases. The material is flexible, with good room temperature damping characteristics. The material is biocompatible, resists many acidic and alkaline chemicals, ozone, heat, and weathering, and has good aging properties. It resists attack by phosphate ester hydraulic fluids and ketones but does not do well in the presence of mineral or petroleum-based fluids, hydrocarbons, or flame. It has good electrical insulating properties. Butyl rubber is usable between -50 and 250°F but its damping characteristics diminish at higher temperatures. It remains flexible at lower temperatures. Durometers range between 40 and 80 Shore A. A summary of butyl rubber’s mechanical strengths and weaknesses include:

  • Compression set: fair
  • Rebound rating: poor
  • Flex cracking resistance: good to excellent
  • Abrasion resistance: good to excellent
  • Tear resistance: good
  • Impact resistance: good
  • Flame resistance: poor
  • Weather resistance: excellent
  • Sunlight resistance: excellent
  • Ozone resistance: excellent
  • Oxidation resistance: excellent
  • Water resistance: very good
  • Steam resistance: excellent
  • Gas permeability: good

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