Nitrile rubber, or NBR, may not seem quite significant on first glance. It is just another material used to make o-rings, right? Well, the strength of a nitrile o ring can be connected to a long history of NBR use. Nitrile rubber has a deep and exciting history, from wars to tires.
This video provides a comprehensive history of the material and how it grew to be so trusted in the engineering industry.
Also called Nitrile, NBR was developed to replace natural rubber. It has a certain mix of chemical and physical properties that allow it to be extremely useful and durable for projects of many sizes. NBR was a cheaper alternative to the costly natural rubber. Did you know that Germany was actually the first country to develop synthetic rubber? Mass production began in 1935, and soon enough all sides of World War 2 were manufacturing NBR for the war effort. There is so much more to learn as well! The next time you happen to see a nitrile o ring or invest in synthetic rubber, you’re interacting with a little piece of war history.