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Many industries today use rubber in their daily operations. This material has many uses, making it both versatile and essential. Healthcare workers rely on rubber products just as construction workers do. Anyone who drives an automobile benefits from components made using rubber, and countless consumer goods contain this substance.
The quality and integrity of rubber can be compromised if the material is not handled and stored properly. Improper handling and storage of rubber products may lead to the material degrading. If it remains intact, its performance may be reduced. This doesn’t take into account the fact that rubber products that cannot be used end up in a landfill.
For example, the rubber soles on a pair of shoes may remain in a landfill for 80 years before they break down. industrial rubber products could take even longer. How can this be avoided? What are some best practices for handling and storing rubber items to prevent this waste and ensure the longevity and effectiveness of rubber materials?
Rubber is an extremely resilient material, which is why manufacturers use it to make vehicle tires. It is pliable and easily withstands exposure to water. This material is difficult to tear and resists abrasions. Nevertheless, the rubber may degrade and deform if the user doesn’t handle or store it properly.
In addition, heat, humidity, and certain chemicals can have a negative effect on this material. Anyone using rubber must know the specific properties of the material they are using to understand best how to handle and store this material. For example, a person must know the characteristics of the rubber used in harvester equipment to care for it properly, as nobody wants this equipment to break down prematurely.
Cleanliness is important when working with rubber. Anything that will come into contact with the rubber must be clean and free of contaminants. This includes the tools and equipment used and the work area. Any small particle can cause imperfections in the material and negatively affect its looks and performance.
For instance, while a conveyor belt does not need to be visually appealing, it must work properly. Otherwise, the business using the belt will find its operations disrupted. Care must be taken to handle this rubber correctly and keep it free of contaminants to avoid costly downtime.
Any time a person is working with rubber, they need to wear the correct personal protective equipment or PPE. This includes gloves and safety glasses at a minimum. When working with this material, a person comes into contact with several potential hazards. The chemicals used to process the rubber can do harm, and there may be allergens in the rubber that can be harmful to humans. The PPE minimizes any risks of working with this material.
While rubber won’t tear easily, it is susceptible to cuts and scratches if the wrong tools are used or it comes into contact with something sharp. These cuts and scratches will make the rubber break down sooner and could lead to weak spots. Only use tools with smooth edges and watch sharp edges on other objects when handling the rubber.
Extreme hot or cold temperatures can harm rubber products. When transporting rubber products or handling them, make sure they are kept at normal temperatures so they won’t crack or distort.
Compressing rubber products for long periods will leave them permanently deformed. Keep this in mind when packaging or storing rubber materials. Never put heavy items on top of the rubber for long periods to avoid this problem. Nobody wants a compressed industrial hose or rubber sheet.
Rubber sheet manufacturers and others who make goods using this material must take care when transporting rubber products. They need to use packaging materials that will ensure the rubber does not come into contact with moisture or dirt. This packaging also needs to keep the rubber away from UV light, as it can damage the material.
Extended exposure to direct sunlight can lead to rubber aging prematurely. Degradation is also a concern with prolonged exposure to the sun. Experts recommend using moisture-resistant packaging or vacuum sealing the products to safeguard the quality of the rubber as the products are being transported and stored.
A person must take care when loading rubber materials. These items need to be secured so they don’t move when they are being transported. Any movement could damage the rubber and make it unusable when it reaches its destination. In addition, the rubber should not be stacked too high. Items at the bottom of the stack could be damaged because of the excessive pressure put on them.
Furthermore, use a climate-controlled truck when transporting the items. As mentioned previously, extreme temperatures can harm the materials. The longer the journey, the more risk the items are of damage due to extreme heat or cold.
Once the rubber reaches its destination, it must be stored properly. Keep the materials or items in a climate-controlled environment at a stable temperature. Monitor humidity levels in the storage area as well. If the humidity is too high or the temperature is extreme, the rubber will degrade faster and its properties will be compromised.
Avoid stacking rubber sheets and rolls too high, and use racks or pallets to keep them off the ground. Never allow the rubber to come into direct contact with hard surfaces, such as concrete. In addition, make sure they won’t come into contact with chemicals or oils. If the rubber does, it could swell or deteriorate.
Always use old stock before new, so the rubber won’t deteriorate from sitting in storage too long. Use the FIFO approach used with food storage when stocking rubber. When using rubber, always take the time to inspect it first. Look for any cracks or deterioration. If the rubber puts off a bad smell, it shouldn’t be used. Immediately remove these items so they don’t contaminate the other materials.
Rubber materials must be handed and stored properly to protect their integrity. Doing so reduces waste while keeping costs down. Ensure everyone who comes into contact with the materials knows these guidelines for the best results.
California Industrial Rubber Company first opened its doors in 1958 to provide industrial rubber and plastic products to businesses in California and Nevada. Over the years, we have grown significantly, allowing us to help more companies obtain the items they need in a timely manner.