Rubber baseboards are molded or extruded rubber products used to cover
the intersection of walls and floors. Rubber is a good choice for
baseboard material because it can be more resistant to impact and
scratching than wood or plastic, and if it does become damaged it can be
replaced inexpensively. Rubber baseboards can be used in institutional,
industrial and residential buildings for purely functional purposes or
to increase the aesthetic appeal of a work or living space.
Rubber baseboards can be basic and flat or embellished with special designs and patterns. In either case, they protect walls in schools from becoming damaged because of impact with desk legs. They protect walls in factories from becoming scratched because of contact with machinery or moving equipment. Depending on the application, rubber baseboards can be fabricated using either synthetic or natural rubber. Synthetic rubbers like EPDM offer higher levels of impact resistance and other qualities of strength and durability; this can make EPDM a good choice for baseboards that will be used in demanding settings such as in factories. However, the level of durability offered by synthetic rubbers like EPDM is not always necessary; in residential contexts, simple baseboards can be made out of inexpensive natural rubber products and still serve their purpose well.
Rubber baseboards can be fabricated in a number of ways, though most rubber baseboards are molded. The rubber injection and compression molding processes allow for the creation of rubber baseboards made from all kinds of rubber materials in a wide variety of configurations. Silicone is a common baseboard fabrication material. The liquid silicone injection molding process involves proportioning, mixing and dispensing liquid silicone rubber. To begin, liquid silicone is pumped through tubing to vulcanization equipment. The liquid silicone is mixed and then transferred to the cooled metering section of the equipment. From the cooled metering section, the liquid silicone rubber compound is pushed into a heated cavity where vulcanization occurs. After vulcanization, the rubber can be cast molded, which starts with the liquid silicone rubber being poured into an open mold, which is a hollow cavity designed to give the silicone its shape. The liquid silicone rubber is then allowed to solidify after taking the shape of the mold. The compression molding process is very similar; it differs in that pressure is added during the molding process.