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What is the Best Rubber for UV Resistance?

Posted by Joe Hoffman
What is the Best Rubber for UV Resistance?

Choosing the right material can be a make-or-break deal if your parts are going to be outside. Depending on your application, rubber parts may be exposed to sunlight. Those UV rays can quickly break down materials that aren’t made to withstand the sun, making UV resistance crucial for long-term success.

The problem is that it’s not necessarily easy to determine which material is right for your applications. There are multiple rubber materials that can be a good fit for outdoor applications, so let’s break down which rubber materials are best for UV resistance (and a few to avoid).

UV Resistant Rubber Materials


Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is an excellent option for parts that need to beat the elements. This versatile, cost-effective rubber material is known for its durability, which includes excellent weathering resistance, including an ability to withstand regular exposure to sunlight.


Silicone rubber is one of the most popular materials for high temperature environments, and it can help you beat more than just heat. Silicone can more than hold its own when exposed to sunlight, making it a great option for window seals and other parts that will need to survive the elements.


Viton has a reputation as a high-performance elastomer that can succeed in demanding environments. In fact, Viton was introduced into the aerospace industry in 1957 due to its reliability, as UV resistance is just one of the material’s many impressive qualities.


PVC is a durable material that can be manufactured into both rigid and flexible parts. Technically a thermoplastic, this particular material is highly customizable and is a great option for tubing, frames, and other lightweight applications that will be exposed to the sun.


Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are notable for their stretching capabilities and soft touch. They also offer ample ozone and UV resistance, making them ideal for tubes, seals, and consumer goods that people will interact with or need for outdoor environments.


Neoprene is a natural fit for applications that require both oil and UV resistance. This particular material offers a good all-around balance of performance characteristics and especially thrives in automotive applications and other environments where parts can face potential exposure to the elements and oils.


Butyl is another rubber material that boasts resistance to several potential hazards. In addition to UV rays, butyl is good at withstanding heat, aging, weather, ozone, and chemicals. Butyl also shares the distinction of being airtight and gas impermeable, making it great for sealants, liners, and other parts.

Materials to Avoid for UV Resistance


Nitrile is one of the best rubber materials available for superior oil resistance, but it struggles with the elements. Most outdoor applications aren’t good fits for nitrile as it tends to age poorly when exposed to UV rays.

Natural rubber

If you need a part that will make regular contact with abrasive surfaces or other damaging elements, natural rubber is a great option. The problem with natural rubber is that sunlight will wear it down quicker than other materials, making it brittle and less flexible.

Find the Right UV Resistant Rubber for Your Parts

The best parts match the right material to your performance needs. That’s why Timco partners with businesses to help them invest in the best, most cost-effective part solutions.

Our experts thoroughly analyze your needs to identify the best material for UV resistance and design the most effective part for your budget. Give us a call at 800-969-6242 or contact us online to have one of our experts design and supply the right parts for your applications.