Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Rubber Tarp Straps are essential tools for many industries and businesses, including construction companies and contractors, transportation and logistics companies, and independent truck drivers. These straps are not like a hardware store bungee cord; they are solid rubber straps. Available in a variety of sizes and shapes, most rubber straps have an S-shaped metal hook (commonly called "S-Hooks) at either end. But the biggest question on most minds is straightforward: "Do I need natural rubber or synthetic rubber?"
Well, that depends. The simple truth is that neither option is "best" because both have pros and cons. It's best to understand the differences between natural rubber and synthetic rubber; different situations will require different solutions.
Natural Rubber Tarp Straps
Natural rubber is harvested primarily in the form of latex fluid drawn off from rubber trees, native to Brazil. The material is then refined, processed, and vulcanized.
Natural rubber is suitable for most environments. It is capable of performing in severely cold conditions, not becoming brittle or cracking in extreme cold. It's rated for temperatures as low as -67° F (-55° C). Natural rubber is also generally known for its elasticity and resilience.
Natural rubber does not handle extremely high temperatures as well as synthetic. It can survive temperatures as high as 180° F (82° C), but it may lose its durability and elasticity if subjected to temperatures over 110° F (43° C) for extended periods. Natural rubber does not hold up well to the UV of sunlight, ozone, solvents, and oils, as well as many materials derived from petroleum.
Synthetic Rubber Tarp Straps
There are many different types of synthetic rubber, but the particular type used in manufacturing tarp straps is EPDM (Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Monomer). It is derived from polyethylene.
EPDM is far superior in extreme heat. It's rated for temperatures as high as 300° F (148° C). It is incredibly resilient to the UV of sunlight, general weathering, ozone, oxygenated solvents, and oils derived from animals or plants.
EPDM is not as tolerant of extreme cold. While the material can survive as cold as -65° F (-54° C), it loses elasticity in below freezing temperatures. Like natural rubber, EPDM is vulnerable to petroleum-derived oils and solvents.
So Which One Do You Need?
Everything will depend on what you're securing in place and what conditions your straps will be subjected to. Using rubber tarp straps in temperatures in excess of 100° F? Consider synthetic. Using rubber tarp straps in temperatures below 0° F? Consider natural. Is there a chance that your rubber tarp straps will be exposed to an oxygenated solvent like acetone? Stick with EPDM.
By comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each material, you should be able to determine the best rubber tarp straps to use for any given job. If you have any questions about our products, feel free to Contact Us to learn more.