What is Santoprene&Reg;?

Malcolm Tatum

As one of the best examples of thermoplastic rubber on the market today, Santoprene® is used in a number of applications. It is a thermoplastic compound that is processed in much the same way as any type of plastic. The difference is that Santoprene® possesses the same levels of flexibility and durability that are commonly found with natural rubber compounds. Because of its longer life in both extreme hot and cold environments, the material is often preferred over the use of rubber.

Santoprene® is used to make sports equipment, including wet suits for diving.
Santoprene® is used to make sports equipment, including wet suits for diving.

Santoprene® can be processed in a variety of ways. The abrasive resistant material can be blow molded, teleformed, or injection molded with great ease. Along with the fact that the material is so easy and cost efficient to produce, it also can be recycled. After products made with it have seen better days, the same material can be reprocessed and molded into new products. The impact of this easily recycled plastic on our environment is thus not only positive, but may also help eliminate even more unwanted items ending up in landfills.

Recycling is a hot topic, and Santoprene® is a plastic that is easy to be recycled into new products.
Recycling is a hot topic, and Santoprene® is a plastic that is easy to be recycled into new products.

Around the house, Santoprene® products are often found helping to insulate appliances and other area. Pump gaskets, hose connectors, weather stripping for windows and doors and closure seals on ovens and refrigerators are often made from this plastic. The same is true for a number of the sporting goods that our children play with each day. Grips on baseball bats and insulated handle bar covers for bicycles made with Santoprene® are common today. For more adult sport pastimes, it is often used for skin diving equipment, wet suits, ski pole handles, and the grips on tennis racquets.

Some appliances use Santoprene® to act as a tight seal when the appliance is closed, such as refrigerator doors.
Some appliances use Santoprene® to act as a tight seal when the appliance is closed, such as refrigerator doors.

When it comes to industrial applications, Santoprene® is often found on all sorts of tool grips, as well as caster wheels, textile industrial rollers on carding and spinning equipment, gaskets for machinery. Around the office, it may show up as the cushion on the bottom of computer monitors, vibration isolators that slide under speaker phones, and printer rollers.

Santoprene is often used for grips on tennis racquets.
Santoprene is often used for grips on tennis racquets.

The automotive industry accounts for the use of a great deal of products made from this plastic. Among them are various types of boots, the lining in air ducts, covers for cables under the hood, windshield spacers, and air bag doors. The typical vehicle today will be outfitted with plenty of Santoprene® items that will probably last as long as the fiberglass and metal shell of the car.

As an easily recyclable product, Santoprene® has the reputation of being strong as well as a great way to make better use of available resources. With so many uses already in place, it is only a matter of time before more applications are developed.

Santoprene can be recycled.
Santoprene can be recycled.

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Discussion Comments

anon349804

Similar to the question in Post no. 16: I am trying to bond a 70 durometer Santoprene gasket to anodized aluminum or to Kynar (fluorocarbon) painted aluminum.

Ideally, the adhesive will set up in a matter of an hour or less sufficiently to be to at least 50 percent strength in that hour.

I note that Akron Coatings and Adhesives claims to have developed an adhesive that will perform this task. Has anyone had experience with Akron Coatings and Adhesives Co.?

anon142902

Is Santoprene an EPDM? Is it the same plastic?

anon137152

Would a pigment prevent ABS from bonding to a Santoprene that is pre-colored? This is a grade of Santoprene that is designed to bond to ABS.

anon128312

i am sourcing an adhesive glue to bone my Santoprene gasket together. Anyone can tell me must used what type of glue/cement?

anon89969

1) Santoprene is polypropylene cross linked with EPDM rubber. Not to be used as a modifier. If you want to modify another polymer, use Exxon Mobil Exxelor or other impact modifier.

2) Santoprene does *not* have PVC in it, or a flame retardant, unless you're looking at one of the specialty grades.

3)You can paint it, but depending on the durometer, it will likely fall off under flexing. Why not just mold in the color you want?

4) Santoprene bonds to ABS, PC, Polypro, and especially, nylon! They even have grades that will bond to metal!

5)Yes, but available only through distribution. They won't sell it direct. And, it's a mixture of different grades, so it really is generic. TPO is made the same way as TPV (santoprene) only isn't cross-linked to the same extent. If you don't need the compression set of Santoprene, look at a TPO. (Everybody makes one of those), or look at some of the styrene based elastomers (poor chemical resistance though)!

8) No. Not unless you use one of the FDA grades, and even then, not really.

9)Neoprene is cheaper, but it's a thermoset product. Santoprene is a thermoplastic, much less expensive to process, easier to recycle, and runs faster cycles.

13) Finally, very difficult to bond using adhesive, due to the polypropylene and EPDM as well. However, they do have grades that bond to other plastics. Usually, that's a two-shot process. Also, elastomers are notoriously difficult to sonic weld or vibratory weld, because, well, they're elastomers.

anon76867

I found Santoprene very hard and difficult to bond with any adhesive.

For instance Aquaseal bonds very strong to Neoprene but does not bond to Santoprene.

anon59825

i would like to learn the difference between neoprene and santoprene.

anon19388

Posted by: anon19274

what are the differences between santoprene and neoprene?

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Posted by: anon19273

what are pros and cons between neoprene and santoprene?

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These are great questions that would make excellent wiseGEEK articles. Please consider submitting them by using the drag down menu under "wiseGEEK Features" and selecting "Suggest a Topic"

anon19274

what are the differences between santoprene and neoprene?

anon19273

what are pros and cons between neoprene and santoprene?

anon18940

Is santoprene resistant to blood born pathogens?

anon17832

Is Santoprene safe for an infant teether? Does it have ingredients that are dubious as we have now discovered about plastics? Thank you!

anon14408

Is there a generic version of Santoprene?

mdt

I've heard of santoprene components being used in conjuntion with components made with other polymer grades such as SBR, but am not aware of a manufacturer that mixes the polymers.

There is some data online that indicates the presence of brominated flame retardants contained in products made with santoprene.

As for painting, I suppose it is possible. Not sure how feasible it would be on products such as bicycle grips or kitchen cutting boards, though.

anon9753

I'm assuming since santoprene is a polymer and a plastic it can be painted with krylon fusion or a similar type polymer adhesive paint.

Is this correct?

anon7500

We are considering Santoprene for a low halogen product. Does Santoprene contain Brominated Flame Retardants or PVC?

anon6630

How is santoprene compounded? Can Santoprene be introduced or mixed in an internal mixer or banbury type mixer? Can santoprene be used as an additive or mixed together with other polymer grades, such as, SBR and raw materials like carbon black, oils, etc..

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