[vcf-midatlantic] rubber rejuvenation

Jason Perkins perkins.jason at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 08:54:18 EDT 2020

My experience is that once the plasticizer in the rubber "goes off" and the
whole thing turns to goo, there's not much that can be done.

I've tried boiling rubber drive belts... it helps a little but not enough
for them to work properly.
I've got automotive "belt dressing" that makes the belt kind of sticky, it
can help a little but on small belt drives doesn't do much.
I've soaked rubber gaskets in leather treatment oils, which swells them up
somewhat, but not bad to their original shape. It does make them more

If you had rubber that has turned hard as a rock, I'd wonder if it's
possible to absorb new plasticizer into it? What I've seen as the rubber
"dries out" it also shrinks, distors, and cracks. Making it soft again
won't fix this.

If the rubber is still the correct shape, but is gooey, I wonder if there's
a chemical process that could pull the extra plasticizer out?

I'd love to see the process how these rollers were made in the first place.
I imagine it's similar to what the modern rubber roller rebuild places do.


On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 2:29 PM Jeffrey Jonas via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Many thanks to everyone for their replies.
> Degnan is right: I never specified my situation.
> I have many rubber items that need restoration:
> tape drive rollers, printer/platen rollers,
> rubber stampers, sandal soles, etc.
> The rubber feet on equipment is the bane of my existence :-(
> I usually just replace them.
> The most annoying failure mode is when they LIQUIFY
> and slime everything UNDER IT :-0
> Next worst: when just ONE is missing.
> -- Jeff Jonas

Jason Perkins
313 355 0085

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