EPDM vs. tyre rubber granulate

What is the difference between two most common rubber types, used in the production of rubber floor tiles? Tyre rubber granulate (obtained from the recycling of car tyres), which provides good fall protection, is cheaper and easier to get, and most of rubber floor tiles on the market are manufactured from tyre rubber. EPDM rubber, on the other hand, is better-quality rubber which is more durable, and therefore used in demanding areas, where high quality is of a special importance (terraces, restaurants, stables).

EPDM RUBBER

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Also called technical rubber, it is the modern rubber type applied in the technically demanding areas. In the daily life we see it as gaskets or seals in windows, doors and automotive engineering. EPDM doesn’t rot and is permanently resistant to ultraviolet rays (sunlight). Contrary to tyre rubber, EPDM retains its fully saturated colour which does not wear off even during intensive use of the rubber flooring and doesn’t release carbon over the years of use.

EPDM rubber floor calls attention by its particularly long life. That is why it is recommended for balconies and terraces, and public areas like patio restaurants or beer gardens. This rubber is chemically neutral, so EPDM rubber floor tiles can be placed directly over foil or roof sealing. What is more, such tiles are resistant to chlorine and urine, which makes them suitable for swimming pool surrounds and stables.

In WARCO, most terrace and balcony flooring is made from pure EPDM rubber granulate. EPDM also is used in the production of equine mats (in combination with tyre granulate and rubber fibres).

TYRE RUBBER

A car tyre consists of several different rubber sorts, mostly NR and SBR. At the end of life, a part of a tyre is shredded and turned into pure rubber granulate. From this granulate WARCO manufactures its safety tiles and sports floor mats. Tyre rubber granulate has great fall- and shock-absorbing performance. Of course, tiles from tyre rubber can also be used as a terrace flooring (e.g. elastic tile TZ30) and vice versa – EPDM tiles also provide (comparable to tyre rubber) fall protection and can be used on playgrounds or sport fields.

Tyre granulate flooring has a life of 10 to 15 years. It is only partly resistant to UV rays (the colours can fade) and embrittles over time. The typical tyre smell is detectable with safety tiles but it disappears quickly, especially when the tiles are installed outdoors. The product is also normally flammable (its fire class is Efl).

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