EPDM is the abbreviation of Ethylene, Propylene, Diene and Monomer and is a group of synthetic rubbers of elastomers. It’s made through the polymerization of tene, propene and a diene, this is an unsaturated hydrocarbon with two double bonds.
This makes EPDM a terpolymer, this is a polymer obtained from three monomers.
EPDM rubber has been used since around 1963 and finds many applications in, for example, construction (roof sealing), the automotive sector (sealing rings, sealing strips on windows and doors), belts, conveyor belts and hoses (for example garden hoses), electrical insulation, pond liner and so on. EPDM is marketed under multiple brand names. EPDM roof coverings can be installed fire-proof in accordance with NEN6050. In the Netherlands, roofing systems must comply with the BroofT1 qualification, which means that an EPDM roofing film must be applied that is fly-proof. EPDM pond liner does not meet this requirement.
The ratio between the amounts of the different monomers used largely determines the properties of the EPDM polymer. The ethylene content can vary from around 45 to 80%. Lower ethylene levels yield a rather amorphous polymer; higher ethylene levels a more crystalline polymer. The diene content can range from approximately 1 to 10/12%. With a higher diene content, a higher degree of vulcanization can be obtained, i.e. a "firmer" rubber.
What is EPDM used for?
The advantages of EPDM:
The downside of EPDM: