An elastomer is a Polymer with the property of elasticity. The term, which is derived from elastic polymer, is often used interchangeably with the term rubber, and is preferred when referring to vulcanisates. Each of the monomers which link to form the Polymer is usually made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and/or silicon. Elastomers are amorphous Polymers existing above their glass transition temperature, so that considerable segmental motion is possible. At ambient temperatures Rubbers are thus relatively soft and deformable. Their primary uses are for seals, adhesives and molded flexible parts.

Elastomers are usually Thermosets (requiring vulcanization) but may also be Thermoplastic (see T.P.E.). The long Polymer chains cross-link during curing. The molecular structure of elastomers can be imagined as a 'spaghetti and meatball' structure, with the meatballs signifying cross-links. The elasticity is derived from the ability of the long chains to reconfigure themselves to distribute an applied stress. The covalent cross-linkages ensure that the elastomer will return to its original configuration when the stress is removed. As a result of this extreme flexibility, elastomers can reversibly extend from 5-700%, depending on the specific material. Without the cross-linkages or with short, uneasily reconfigured chains, the applied stress would result in a permanent deformation.

Altec have over 30 years experience in manufacturing Plastic & Rubber Extrusions, Extruded Profiles and Tubing. We're quite rightfully proud of our reputation for consistently meeting the needs of customers over that time. Because we've remained small and focussed we've also remained more attentitive, more cost effective and more responsive than larger manufacturers.

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