by Carlee Manges and Kristi Ferrato, Alttran Technical Services
EPDM has not been immune to significant price increases, material shortages and allocations. As extrusion expenses are dominated by material cost and throughput, price and efficiency are of the essence. One of the most common ways to improve cost efficiencies in extrusion compounds is to lower material cost by extending the polymer as much as possible using high amounts of filler, for which EPDM is perfectly suited. The other option to decrease costs is to run more product in the same amount of time, requiring a material with higher extrusion rates.
The global EPDM market is expected to grow from $2.5 billion in 2021 to $3.6 billion in 2026, and extrusion applications take up a significant portion of this market segment. EPDM is a widely used polymer for many extruded goods, as it is inherently water, ozone, UV and weather resistant, and generally recommended for temperatures ranging from -50°C to 150°C (ref. 2). EPDM can be a low cost material option, as it allows for high total loading and has a low specific gravity, yielding a low pound-volume cost. EPDM responds well at various process temperatures and is used in many applications, such as windshield wiper blades, weatherstripping, extruded roofing membranes, hoses, and wire and cable applications.