Styrene Butadiene rubber (SBR) is the largest volume synthetic rubber. Compared to natural rubber, SBR has better processability, heat aging and abrasion resistance but is inferior in terms of elongation, hot tear strength, hysteresis, resilience and tensile strength. With over 70% being consumed in the manufacture of tyres and tyre products, demand is very much dependent on the automotive sector. SBR is used mainly in tyre manufacture (source: Goodyear)
In non-tyre applications, there has been faster growth in other synthetic rubbers such as ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) and nitrile rubbers as a substitute for SBR. However, non-tyre uses for SBR are growing with applications including conveyor belts, gaskets, hoses, floor tiles, footwear and adhesives.