Rolled Rubber

Whether you’re looking for a floor covering for a home gym, commercial facility, industrial building, or even an ammunition room, rolled rubber is a great choice.  Excellent for protecting your floor, rolled rubber is tough and relatively inexpensive compared to many other options on the market today.

Rolls of rubber can be used in a variety of different places.  For workout areas where gym equipment or weights are used, rolled rubber protects the floor from damage while also keeping equipment safe from dust and debris.  For most of these situations, we recommend 3/8″.  It is thick enough to protect the floors from day-to-day abuse without being too thick, therefore, and cost prohibitive.  If you are using heavy weights and dropping them to the floor repeatedly (100 lbs or more) we recommend at least a half-inch thickness.  Otherwise, 3/8″ should be more than sufficient to meet your needs.

3/8″ is also the standard thickness for most industrial applications.  Rolled rubber in 3/8″ can be used in high traffic areas, mutions areas, and high traffic walkways in industrial applications.  For everyday walkways, the user can usually go with a 1/4″ rubber product.  

Rubber Flooring Rolls can be installed with either a tape-down or glue-down method. Rolled Rubber Flooring can add comfort and durability to an otherwise hard surface. However, it is worth noting that for situations where you will be doing aerobic activity, foam is usually the better product.  It is lighter and less expensive to ship.  It also provides varying degrees of cushion.  (For more information on our foam products, please click here.  
Rubber provides more cushion than concrete but it is still hard.  Rubber Flooring Roll material is most commonly ordered in 100 percent black or with a 10 or 20 percent color in the mix. 
Rolls of Rubber are the most common types rubber flooring available.  The rolls are heavy and will almost always ship via freight truck but the product itself is generally less expensive than other options such as interlocking tiles.  
Each roll of rubber will lay flat when unrolled for installation. Rolled Rubber can be cut with a utility knife for a wall to wall installation. Rubber Roll Floor will withstand high impacts in weight rooms. Rubber Flooring Rolls are all 4 ft wide per roll.  The rolls can easily be cut to fit in a wall-to-wall situation with a sharp utility knife and a straightedge.  Rubber Flooring Roll material is made with recycled rubber content and is considered a green product by EPA standards.  They are manufactured in the USA.
Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

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Vulcanization

Rubber is an amazing invention.  It can be used in a number of remarkably different applications because of its versatility.  Natural rubber, for example is extremely elastic.  It can oftentimes be found in products where its unique flexibility is desired like rubber bands or some types of gaskets.  It can also be found in some types of specialty flooring.  However, natural rubber is also brittle when it gets cold and tends to lose shape when warm.  It is for this reason that vulcanization is required for the manufacture of many rubber products.  (Many products such as rubber flooring, tires, and hockey pucks are created from vulcanized rubber.)
The process was initially pioneered by Charles Goodyear (of Goodyear Tire fame.)  He found, accidentally, that rubber tended to char like leather when it came in contact with heat.  He also found that, regardless of the temperature, the rubber would not fully melt but rather continue to char when heated in sulfuric acid.  He was able to char the rubber to the point where it became resistant to heat and cold and found that the process was irreversible.  The rubber would maintain these new properties indefinitely.  This made rubber products such as tires and eventually rubber flooring possible.  Further developments after Goodyear’s initial experimentation eventually led to vulcanization as it is performed today.
Vulcanization is a chemical process that cures rubberor related polymersinto more durable materials by adding various accelerators (which is sulfur in most cases.) These additives change the polymer by forming crosslinks between the individual polymer chains. The process was named after Vulcan, Roman god of fire.  Hard vulcanized rubber is used to make hard rubber articles such as bowling ballsand mouthpieces for band instruments. Vulcanized rubber materials tend to be less sticky and have superior mechanical properties to natural rubber.
There are a variety of methods used for vulcanization. The most important method (used for the vulcanization of tires) uses high pressure and temperature. This type of vulcanization is called compression molding. In this scenario, the rubber article adopts the shape of the mold. Other methods, for instance to make door profiles for cars, use hot air vulcanization or microwave heated vulcanization.
Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

A brief history of rubber

Rubber comes in two types:  natural, which comes directly from tropical plants and synthetic, which is man-made from petroleum and natural gas.   Because of its strength, along with its elasticity and resilience, rubber is the basic component in tires.  In fact, more than half of all rubber produced worldwide is used to make automobile tires.  The rest is used for a wide variety of products including rubber flooring.

Natural rubber exists in the inner bark of many tropical and subtropical trees and shrubs.  However, Hevea brasilienes, a tall tree indigenous to Brazil is, by far, the plant that is tapped the most frequently for its natural rubber.  The basic component of rubber, is harvested in a similar fashion to the harvesting of tree sap.   The tree bark is slashed and the plant secretes an elastic, liquid substance that is the basic component of rubber.  Although scientists aren’t entirely sure why the substance is secreted, most conclude that it is a type of self-healing salve.
Discovered centuries ago, rubber was described scientifically for the first time in 1735 by Francois Fresneau of France who was following an expedition to South America.  It was later called “rubber” by an English chemist who discovered that it could be used to rub out pencil marks.  It came into its wide ranging commercial success years later, in 1839, when the vulcanization process was invented by Charles Goodyear.   By 1900 more than 40,000 tons of rubber were used each year with about one-half  coming from Brazil and the other half from Central Africa, where rubber was obtained principally from Landolphia vines.  However, as an important industrial material, rubber was required in larger amounts than could easily be obtained from the wild and widely dispersed trees in the Brazilian jungle or from African vines.  They produced only about one kilogram per hectare and had to be destroyed to obtain the rubber.  In 1876, seeds of the Hevea brasiliensis tree from the upper Orinoco basin were taken from Brazil to England at the instigation of the British India Office.  Seedlings were raised at Kew Gardens and shipped to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Singapore. These trees were the origin of the rubber plantation industry in Asia which now produces more than 90 percent of the world’s supply.
The demand for natural rubber continues to be high due to its resistance to heat buildup.  This makes it valuable for racing car tires, trucks, buses, and airplanes.  However, of all the rubber produced commercially, natural rubber constitutes less than half.  The rest is synthetic.
The origins of the elastomers that make up the base of synthetic rubber can be traced to the first half of the 19th century when several scientists tried to replicate natural rubber.  By 1940 the Soviet Union had the largest synthetic rubber industry in the world, producing more than 50,000 tons per year.  Because synthetic rubber can be made from petroleum, grain alcohol, or coal, it was in great demand during World War II. Immense amounts were made—as much as 100,000 tons per year in Germany and the Soviet Union.  About 800,000 tons were produced per year in the United States.
After World War II, increasing sophistication in synthetic chemistry led to many new polymers and elastomers.  Several advances characterized the postwar years.   Over the centuries a wide variety of substances has been mixed with rubber to strengthen it.  Rubber can be plasticized to be more rigid or mixed with other agents to make it more pliable.  Certain additives provide resistance to heat, sunlight, oxygen, and ozone.  Paraffin wax forms a protective coating that helps to protect the rubber from staining.
World consumption of synthetic rubber reached nine million tons in 1993.  Today, about 55 percent of all synthetic rubber produced is used in automobile tires.