How to Adhere Kevlar to Rubber

Written by sarah davis
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How to Adhere Kevlar to Rubber
Tires are commonly made of both Kevlar and rubber, and are adhered using a similar process. (tire image by sasha from

Kevlar is the trademarked name for DuPont's family of high-temperature resistant, synthetic aramid fibre products. Kevlar is a highly resilient material with great strength and extraordinary thermal stability. Some uses for Kevlar include tires, mechanical belts, fire-resistant clothing and body armour. Rubber and Kevlar are often bound in tires where the Kevlar fibres are woven over rubber layers for reinforcement. These processes are best conducted in an industrial setting.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Latex glue
  • Resorcinol glue
  • Formaldehyde
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Water
  • Bermixer
  • Hard plastic bucket or container
  • Disposable rubber gloves
  • Oven

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  1. 1

    Measure equal amounts of resorcinol, formaldehyde, latex glue and water. Measure half as much sodium hydroxide.

  2. 2

    Blend together the resorcinol, formaldehyde, sodium hydroxide and water in a hard plastic container with the Bermixer for two minutes. Allow this solution to sit for at least five hours uncovered at room temperature.

  3. 3

    Cover and reserve the measured latex glue until after the mixture has sat.

  4. 4

    Mix the measured latex glue with half as much water and add to the solution of resorcinol and formaldehyde. Blend well with a Bermixer for at least 5 minutes or until completely emulsified as a mixture. This is called an RFL composition.

  5. 5

    Dip the Kevlar fibres or cords into the RFL composition using disposable rubber gloves.

  6. 6

    Lay the Kevlar over the rubber as you would like it to be adhered and place it in a 500 degree Fahrenheit oven. Check it every 20 minutes for dryness. There should be no tacky or soft surfaces when the Kevlar has dried completely to the rubber.

  7. 7

    To further secure the Kevlar to the rubber, dip the rubber with adhered Kevlar into the RFL composition and bake again until dry.

Tips and warnings

  • RFL stands for resorcinol-formaldehyde latex.
  • Increasing the formaldehyde-to-resorcinol ratio increases the degree of condensation, which lengthens the curing time and temperature of the RFL-dip. If your RFL composition is not curing well, decrease the amount of formaldehyde in the solution.
  • Wear safety goggles when doing this project.
  • Avoid skin contact with the RFL composition.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.

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