What is Buna-n (NBR): Its Benefits and Uses

Buna-n, also known as Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR), is a versatile synthetic elastomer that has become an essential material in a wide range of industries. Its unique combination of properties makes it an ideal choice for a variety of applications, from automotive parts to medical devices.

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For this reason, we will discuss Buna-n, how this rubber is used, how it’s made, and the significant differences. So, let’s dive in and discover the world of Buna-n together!

What is Buna-n (NBR)?

Nitrile Rubber

Nitrile rubber (NBR) is an elastomer made from acrylonitrile(ACN) and ButadieneNitrile Butadiene Rubber- NBR is a synthetic rubber with excellent physical properties. It is in high demand because it can be tailored to meet the industry’s unique requirements or the complicated design procedure for an engineering project.

It is specially processed with Sulphur or Peroxide for demanding projects to manipulate its physical and chemical features. I.e., melting point, chemical resistance, and hardness.

In the rubber industry, nitrile rubber is recognized for its high resistance to heat, pressure, and harmful fluids (mineral oils), making it an excellent raw material for O-rings, gaskets, and oil seals in industries such as automotive companies and electrical factories.

Butadiene and Acrylonitrile (ACN), the primary ingredients of Buna-n, are mixed based on the project’s necessities. Though the formula varies, 34 percent of ACN is responsible for its high tensile strength, abrasion resistance, and oil-resistant applications. At the same time, Butadiene is accountable for the flexible and elastic nature of the rubber.

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Where is Buna-n or Nitrile Rubber (NBR) Used?

Hydraulic fluids pump control system

Buna-n, a synthetic rubber, is used in various applications. It is used in the construction and automotive industry for O-rings gaskets, rubber grommets, and handling hoses. It is also used to manufacture rubber adhesives for lamination and as color pigment binders. It is used to seal pumps and to make protective gloves and boots in nuclear Industries.  

It is ideal for the most demanding environments, i.e., the Medical industry, because it can resist high levels of external heat and withstand harmful acids. It is also used in pharmaceutical laboratories.

Nitrile NBR depending on the alteration to the formula can be used in every industry.

How does Nitrile Rubber Differ from Other Rubber Materials?

floor mats

Buna-n differs from other more common materials in terms of better physical and chemical properties. 

It is the first base polymer, named after being discovered by scientists in the early 1900s. NBR rubber and Buna-n are manufactured from the same base synthetic rubber copolymer – acrylonitrile butadiene rubber. The significant difference in this NBR compound is the formula used in the manufacturing process. This formula is altered and applied based on the selected Industries and their demands.

Here are some of the key differences between nitrile rubber and other types of rubber materials:

PropertyNitrile Rubber (NBR)Natural Rubber (NR)Neoprene (CR)Silicone Rubber (SiR)EPDM Rubber
Oil ResistanceExcellentPoorGoodExcellentFair to Good
Fuel ResistanceExcellentPoorGoodExcellentFair
Temperature Range-30°C to 100°C-60°C to 80°C-40°C to 125°C-55°C to 200°C-40°C to 130°C
Weather ResistanceGoodExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellent
Ozone ResistanceGoodPoorExcellentExcellentExcellent
Acid ResistanceGoodFair to GoodFair to GoodExcellentExcellent
Abrasion ResistanceExcellentExcellentGoodFairGood
Tensile StrengthGoodExcellentGoodFair to GoodGood

Bunan-n differs In terms of characteristics, such as

  • Temperature requirement
  • Physical Properties

Temperature Resistance

Buna-n has good temperature resistance and can withstand a wide range of temperatures, averaging between -40 and 107 degrees Celsius. It is an elastomer able to function virtually almost in every industry.

Physical Properties

Regarding physical qualities, NBR latex is one of the most preferred rubber materials. Custom Rubber parts made with Buna-n have a longer service life and can survive the effects of weathering in their environment.

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How can You Tell if a Material is Made of Buna-n (NBR)?

Rubber Oil Handling hoses

Rubber parts made from Buna-n (NBR) have a high oil resistance (silicone oils, vegetable oils, and other oils), although adamant, and have high heat resistance. It is primarily known for its incredible oil resistance.

Standard parts made from other rubber materials cannot withstand oil exposure, and nitrile (NBR) rubber leads to heavy swelling and gas permeability. This weakness can cause huge setbacks and accidents when left unchecked for an extended period.

Although the physical properties can be manipulated by altering the percentage ratio for better suitability.

What are the Benefits of Using Buna-n (NBR)?

rubber industry

There are benefits to using Buna-n for rubber parts. It is a remarkably versatile elastomer used for numerous applications and projects. It is one of the most widely used raw materials for fluid seals, oil seals, and gaskets

Nitrile or Buna-n, as it’s commonly known, has an extensive list of valuable features. NBR offers excellent resistance to petroleum-based oils and fuels, silicone greases, hydraulic fluids, water, and alcohol. It provides a good balance of desirable working properties including low compression set, high tensile strength, and high abrasion resistance. This wide range of benefits makes it enticing. This is also a reason for its popularity among rubber technicians.

  • Excellent Resistance: It has good oil resistance and functions well with petroleum oils and other such fluids,
  • Tear Resistance: It excels in physical toughness with high abrasion and tear resistance.
  • It has a Shore: A hardness rating ranging from 40 to 90 points.
  • Cheap alternative: It is more affordable than many other elastomers and fluoroelastomers 

Are there any Drawbacks to Using Buna-n (NBR)?

rubber surgical disposable examination gloves

Although, as an elastomer, this is a preferred choice among industry experts, there are a few drawbacks to consider when using Buna-n for rubber accessories. For instance, one of those drawbacks is a weakness in ozone, ketones, and aldehydes. Butadiene rubber should be used in a suitable environment as raw materials for disposable non-latex gloves and other rubber accessories. 

When Buna-n comes in contact with strong oxidizers, the elastomer oxidizes. This drawback can lead to accidents in laboratories and factories. Depending on the formula used and the presence of acrylonitrile, the flexibility of materials made with Buna-n can also be controlled and manipulated.

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Rounding up everything that has been reviewed so far, Buna-n is a highly customizable elastomer with a long list of benefits and a shorter list of drawbacks.

Buy High-Quality Nitrile Rubber Products from Hongju

To ascertain if Buna-n meets the requirements of your project, you can collaborate with a member of the Hongju team to create high-quality rubber parts. Please reach out to us our team will be happy to help you meet your business goals.

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Hey there, I’m David!

I’m the founder of Hongju Silicone. I have been in this field for more than two decades. If you are looking for custom-made silicone rubber products, feel free to ask me any questions.

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