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Everything you need to know about Nitrile Rubber

 Coru118 - Black Premium Grade 100% Nitrile 65° shore

Nitrile, short for Nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), is a kind of synthetic rubber produced from a copolymer of acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene. It has long been the elastomer of choice for oil and gas industries.

This is a basic introduction to the highly-versatile rubber material, Nitrile.


Nitrile, like other synthetic rubbers, is a product of research driven to supply the demand for natural rubbers during World War I and II.

  • NBR was developed in 1931 by German chemists, Erich Konrad and Eduard Tschunkur of IG Farben.
  • The first commercial nitrile rubber was produced by BFGoodRich Company in the U.S. in 1939.
  • In 1969, Reichhold and its forerunners began to market nitrile for gloves on a commercial scale.
  • At present, there are 10 major producers of nitrile rubber worldwide.


Nitrile is produced in an emulsion polymerisation system. Its monomers, acrylonitrile and butadiene, are emulsified in water then polymerised with the use of free-radical initiators.

The physical and chemical properties of the end product may vary depending on the polymer’s composition of nitrile. When more nitrile is added within the polymer, this will result in higher resistance to oils but it will also lower the flexibility of the material.

Nitrile rubber is available in a number of forms including sheets, crumbs, powders and liquid.

Trade Names

NBR’s trade names and manufacturers include the following:

  • Nipol  from Zeon Corporation
  • Buna N, Perbunan, Baymodn, Krynac from Lanxess
  • Nysyn from DSM Elastomers
  • Chemigum from Eliokem
  • Europrene from Polimeri Europa
  • Nacar NBR from Nantex Industry


NBR is primarily used for applications where oil resistance is required. It is used in the production of a variety of products such as:

  • Sealants
  • Gloves
  • Oil handling hoses
  • Adhesives
  • Gaskets
  • Cable jackets
  • O-rings
  • Moulded goods
  • Floor mats


The outstanding benefits of using nitrile rubber include:

  • High tensile strength
  • Good elongation properties
  • Highly resistant to oil, fuels, grease, water and many acids
  • Excellent compression set and abrasion resistance


Coruba offers nitrile rubber sheets and strips that are available in different grades to suit your needs and budget. They can be supplied in roll form, part rolls or cut and slit to any size or shape you require. For enquiries, call us today on 01702 560194 or email info@coruba.co.uk.

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