Well, rubber, I mean, the rubber products we make, especially natural rubber, are primarily affected by exposure to the elements. In other words, if you want the rubber to last longer, it should be kept as dry as possible, away from direct sunlight, and shielded from external agents.
It’s basic. Above all, one thing that degrades them significantly is temperature. So, if you subject these natural rubber open-cell rubbers to high temperatures, they’re no longer effective. You have to use silicone instead. Of course, there are different formulations for each type.
Temperature, in particular, forces us to switch to different types of rubber: chloroprene, natural rubbers, and silicone, which I didn’t mention earlier, but there is also open-cell silicone rubber that withstands temperature very well.
Yes, as for what you mentioned, I have a spatula in my kitchen that’s probably made of silicone. Those that you can leave on top of a pan and it can withstand the heat. Is that an open-cell sponge rubber?
No, those are compact rubbers because they don’t have cells. I mean, if you were to cut the spatula, you wouldn’t see any cells, there’s no air space in between. It’s a compact material. What we manufacture are materials where, if you were to cut them, you would see the cells perfectly. They have air cavities of 1, 2, 3, 4 millimeters. It depends on the type of formulation we’re dealing with, the internal structure.
As for your example, it’s a compact silicone rubber, something we also produce, but that’s a slightly different category. We make compact rubber, but perhaps we represent around 3% of the global market here in Spain. We make it because any rubber manufacturer knows how to produce compact rubber. In reality, compact rubber is something that 99% of manufacturers produce because, in the end, it’s a formulation, you apply heat, and the product is ready.