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What is the difference between EPDM & TPV rubber granules?

A simple guide on the key differences of EPDM & TPV rubber granules.

Rubber granules, widely used in various applications such as playground surfaces, sports fields, and industrial flooring, come in different compositions. Two common types are Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) and Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) rubber granules. Despite their similar uses, they have distinct differences in composition, durability, and performance, especially under UV exposure and mechanical stress.

 

Composition and Manufacturing Process

 

Rosehill TPV®

  • Base Material Made from a thermoplastic polyolefin elastomer.
  • Manufacturing Process Undergoes twin screw extrusion and peroxide vulcanisation, resulting in a UV stable thermoset rubber.
  • Additives Contains high-quality UV pigments, stabilisers, and antioxidants to enhance UV resistance and durability.
  • Adhesion Promoters Formulated with adhesion promoters to improve binding with polyurethane (PU) binders.
  • Surface Porosity Reduced surface porosity allows for less PU binder usage for the same adhesion performance.

EPDM

  • Base Material Composed of ethylene, propylene, and a diene monomer.
  • Manufacturing Process Typically does not undergo the same level of peroxide vulcanisation as TPV, leading to different mechanical properties.
  • Additives Often uses a range of pigments and UV stabilisers, which can vary in quality and effectiveness.
  • Surface Porosity Generally higher surface porosity compared to TPV, requiring more PU binder to achieve similar adhesion performance.

 

UV Stability and Durability

 

Rosehill TPV®

  • UV Resistance Demonstrates superior resistance to UV conditions due to the inclusion of high-quality UV stabilisers and antioxidants. It does not degrade or “chalk” under UV exposure, maintaining its colour and structural integrity over time.
  • Thermal Stability Being a thermoset elastomer, it does not melt and coalesce, ensuring stable performance under varying thermal conditions.

EPDM

  • UV Susceptibility Prone to UV degradation, which can lead to “chalking” or whitening. Continuous UV exposure may cause cross-linking, resulting in brittleness and reduced elasticity.
  • Pigment and Stabiliser Quality The effectiveness of pigments and UV stabilisers in EPDM can vary, potentially impacting its durability under UV exposure.

 

Mechanical Performance

 

Rosehill TPV®

  • Mechanical Strength: Exhibits superior mechanical performance, especially when combined with PU binders. This is attributed to better adhesion promoted by the inclusion of adhesion promoters and surface modifications.
  • PU Binder Efficiency: Requires less PU binder due to reduced surface porosity, making it more cost-effective and efficient in applications where strong adhesion is needed.

EPDM:

  • Mechanical Properties Generally requires more PU binder to achieve the same adhesion performance as TPV. This is due to higher surface porosity and differences in adhesion promoters.
  • Durability The ongoing cross-linking under UV exposure can lead to embrittlement and mechanical failure over time, depending on the quality of the additives used.

 

While both TPV and EPDM rubber granules serve similar purposes, Rosehill TPV® offers significant advantages in terms of UV stability, mechanical performance, and cost-efficiency. The enhanced formulation of TPV with high-quality UV stabilisers, reduced surface porosity, and better adhesion properties make it a superior choice for applications exposed to extreme weather conditions and requiring durable, long-lasting performance. In contrast, EPDM, with its varying levels of UV resistance and higher binder requirements, may be less suitable for such demanding applications but can still be effective in environments with lower UV exposure and less stringent durability requirements.

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