What is Butyl rubber? – Properties, Applications, Uses

Butyl Rubber

Butyl rubber is a synthetic elastomer produced by the fusion of isobutylene and isoprene molecules. It has good shock absorption properties as well as low moisture and gas permeability.

It is used in many commercial applications like tires or gloves. This article briefly describes the Butyl rubber material and some common applications.

Butyl Rubber


Butyl rubber is a crucial material in manufacturing tubeless tires, sports ball bladders, and gloves due to its low gas and vapor permeability. As a waterproofing material, it is affixed as a liner in tanks and ponds.

It is used as a patching material for membrane roofs and sealant for insulated windows. Butyl rubber is usable as slabs, sheets, and tapes or adhesive in tubes. The material can be molded by the transfer and compression molding process.

It is used to make gaskets and Orings. Butyl rubber is used for shock mounts and suspension bushing. Speaker edges are also made from butyl where once they were made of foam.

Labware plugs and medical equipment are made from the material due to its low permeability, also used in the production of gas masks. Not as soft as silicone rubber but butyl is quite flexible so it can reach a favorable facial seal.


Butyl rubber has exceptional resistance to attack by oxygen or ozone. Due to the absence of double bonds, IIR products can combat protracted exposure to heat and are stable in dilute acids and alkalis.

Butyl has extraordinary low gas and moisture permeability which makes it ideal for inner tubes and high-pressure applications under critical conditions.

IIR elastomers are consistently halogenated with chlorine or bromine to enhance their resistance to assertive chemical media but at the charge of electrical insulation and moisture resistance.

The introduction of halogen increases the reactivity of the unvulcanized rubber and improves adhesion.



Butyl rubber is the only elastomer that is resistant to gases. The material is flexible with great room temperature characteristics. The material is biocompatible, resists acidic and alkaline chemicals, ozone and weathering.

It resists attack by phosphate ester hydraulic fluids and ketones and has excellent electrical insulating properties. Butyl rubber is used between -50 and 250° but its characteristics abate at higher temperatures. It also ensures flexibility at lower temperatures.

Also Check:- What is EPDM Rubber? – Properties, Applications, Uses


Butyl rubber elastomers have some limitations, Butyl rubber is challenging to handle during the manufacturing process because it has a propensity to trap air, creep, and blisters.

The flame resistance ability is poor and it is not endorsed for use with petroleum oils, fluids, or any other solvents. It has low resistance to aromatic hydrocarbons like kerosene, turpentine, coal, and tar.



[epcl_accordion custom_class=”” title=”Q. IS BUTYL RUBBER TOXIC?”] Butyl Rubber is stable and does not deteriorate in the environment. It is not toxic or harmful to plants, animals, and soil. Butyl Rubber is not supposed to be of an environmental concern under normal handling and usage.

It is solid and conveniently contained. It is not reactive and should be placed in a suitable container for recycling or disposal. [/epcl_accordion]

[epcl_accordion custom_class=”” title=”Q. HOW LONG DOES BUTYL RUBBER LAST?”] It confides on the working conditions affecting the life of rubber products. If stored under suitable conditions, it can be even used after the expiration date of its life.

Bad working conditions can shorten the expected life but If properly taken care of, butyl rubber can last up to five or ten years. [/epcl_accordion]

[epcl_accordion custom_class=”” title=”Q. WHAT IS THE OTHER NAME USED FOR BUTYL RUBBER?”] The other name used for Butyl rubber is Isobutylene Isoprene rubber abbreviated as IIR because butyl rubber is produced by the fusion of these molecules. [/epcl_accordion]



[epcl_accordion custom_class=”” title=”Q. WHEN WAS BUTYL RUBBER INVENTED?”] In 1937, Sparks and his co-worker R.M. Thomas, chemists from New Jersey came up with butyl rubber manufactured by polymerizing isobutylene with low proportions of butadiene or isoprene. [/epcl_accordion]

[epcl_accordion custom_class=”” title=”Q. WHERE WAS BUTYL RUBBER FIRST USED?”] Butyl rubber was first used during World War II as a substitute for natural rubber in the manufacturing of tires and tank treads. [/epcl_accordion]



Butyl Rubber is one of the best rubber available in the market due to its excellent insulating properties and flexible temperature characteristics.

We hope that this guide, covering its properties, advantages, limitations, and applications has been useful for you. Butyl rubber is only one of the certain kinds of rubber used in the industry today.

For more information on the varied types, you can check out our Types of rubber and properties article and stay updated

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