Butyl rubber, also known as isobutylene-isoprene (IIR) rubber, is a synthetic rubber that is produced by copolymerizing isobutylene with a small amount of isoprene. It was first developed by the chemist William Sparks in the 1930s and is commonly used in a variety of applications due to its unique properties.
One of the most notable properties of butyl rubber is its excellent impermeability to gases, making it an ideal material for use in products such as inner tubes, tire inner liners, and other applications that require a gas-tight seal. Butyl rubber also has good chemical resistance and can withstand exposure to a wide range of chemicals, including acids, alkalis, and hydrocarbons.
Butyl rubber is highly resistant to weathering and ozone degradation, making it suitable for outdoor applications such as roofing membranes and seals. It is also highly resistant to water and steam, making it useful in applications such as gaskets and seals for plumbing fixtures.
In addition to its high impermeability to gases, butyl rubber also has a low gas permeability rate, which makes it an ideal material for use in the production of air bladders, gas masks, and other products that require a high level of gas impermeability.
However, butyl rubber has some limitations. It has relatively poor resistance to oils and solvents, and its low resilience can make it unsuitable for applications that require high levels of flexibility or impact resistance. Despite these limitations, butyl rubber remains a highly versatile material that is widely used in a variety of industrial and consumer applications.