Storage

Most vulcanised rubbers change their properties during storage, and can eventually become unuseable, mainly due to excessive hardening or deformation. We therefore recommend the following guidelines should be observed.

  1. Storage should be in closed dry containers to avoid moisture and condensation.
  2. The temperature should not exceed 25°C, and excessive low temperatures should be avoided.
  3. Containers should be protected from direct sunlight, and as ozone can be particularly harmful, storerooms should not contain electrical appliances which produce ozone.
  4. To avoid deformation articles should be stored in a relaxed state, and overcrowding of containers should be avoided.
  5. Storage of rubber components of dissimilar composition in the same container should be avoided.
  6. When cleaning of rubber components may be required, soap and water is the least damaging, and organic solvents should not be used.
  7. When seals are in transit they should be packed in either black or opaque bags.

The following tables are a guide to the recommended initial and extended storage times, after inspection, of the most commonly used elastomers.

CODE NAME INITIAL STORAGE EXTENDED STORAGE
NR Natural Rubber 5/7 years 2/3 years
IR Isoprene Rubber 5/7 years 2/3 years
AU Polyurethane 5/7 years 2/3 years
NBR Nitrile 7/9 years 3/4 years
HNBR Hydrogenated Nitrile 7/9 years 3/4 years
CR Neoprene 7/9 years 3/4 years
EPDM Ethylene Propylene 10/12 years 5/6 years
FKM Fluorocarbon 10/12 years 5/6 years
VMQ Silicone 10/12 years 5/6 years
FVMQ Fluorosilicone 10/12 years 5/6 years
TFE Tetrafluoroethylene 10/12 years 5/6 years
FFKM Perfluoroelastomer 10/12 years 5/6 years
For more detailed and extensive guidelines we recommend the BSI website, and to purchase a copy of The International Standards BS ISO 2230-2002.