Butyl was originally used as an adjective in the 1800’s as a chemistry term meaning “containing a butyl group”. Scientifically speaking, butyl is the radical C4H9, derived from butane. Now, Butyl is a trademarked name (sometimes referred to as “Butyl rubber”). This brand of synthetic rubber is created by the polymerization of butylene while containing little butadiene. One of the most common uses remains in the manufacturing of the inner tubes of automobile tires due to its excellent leakproof quality. At ILT, we use butyl for things like seals, septa, and vinyl liners.
Butyl Advantages Across Industries
Butyl is an elastomeric polymer that has become an industry-standard in adhesives and sealants. While it’s often used in organic chemistry, this polymer is a four-carbon alkyl radical created from either of the two isomers (n-butane and isobutane) of butane.
One of the many advantages of butyl is that it possesses low strength and will exhibit creep under load. This makes them a desirable choice in packaging industries where low permeability to gasses and moisture is necessary. Butyl withstands harsh temperature environments and maintains flexibility at 30 degrees Fahrenheit. On the extreme opposite, the material remains stable even at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Butyl is compatible with virtually any type of sealant whereas other materials react with things like petroleum-based sealants. Another benefit lies in the aging process. Not only will butyl resist aging with zero off-gassing, but low to zero VOCs can contribute to LEED credits.
Butyl is available as slabs, tapes, and sheets, and can even be sold in tubes as an adhesive or sealant. The material can be molded by transfer as well as injection and compression molding processes and then extruded.
Where is Butyl Used?
One of butyl’s most desirable properties is its vapor permeability and low gas.
Here are just a few places this material is used across a wide range of industries: – Tubeless tires, inner tubes, and sports-ball bladders – Gaskets, hoses, O-rings – Pond and tank liners – Insulated window sealants – Oil and fuel additives (when combined with other chemicals) – Shock mounts, car/truck mounts, and suspension bushings – Speaker cone edges – Gas masks – Medical seals, septa, and vial cap liners
Butyl Fun Fact: Butyl even has a food-grade form and has almost completely replaced the need for natural sources in manufacturing chewing gum.
Butyl in Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals
ILT is a global leader in manufacturing seals and septa seals. Along with platinum silicone and PTFE, butyl is one of our most widely used materials during Headspace analysis. We use butyl in the creation of lined caps, silicone septa, and septa seals. While we ship products worldwide, all products are proudly manufactured at the plant in the USA. ILT uses butyl across several client industries including headspace analysis, and diagnostics.
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