Bumpers are elastomeric hardware devices used for edge protection, cushioning, and impact absorption. Bumpers reduce vibration and movement in equipment. They also stop rigid parts from damaging one another. Edge protection devices such as bumpers are used to protect machinery as well as people. A custom bumper can be designed to meet specific application needs and may include self-adhering feet, stops, spacers, cushions and other molded parts. A rubber bumper or elastomeric bumper can be made from either natural or synthetic rubber.
Bumper manufacturing companies are located across the United States and around the world. The proper selection of bumpers depends requires a careful analysis of material specifications and application requirements. Common bumper materials include natural rubber, synthetic rubber, silicone, polysulfide, urethane, polyurethane, and butyl. Proprietary materials include Hypalon and Neoprene, trademarked products of DuPont Dow Elastomers LLC. Metal bumpers are also available. Common bumper shapes are cylindrical, hemispherical, hexagonal, oval, rectangular, rollstock, and square. Bumper colors include black, brown, and clear. Bumper dimensions include height, width, and diameter. In terms of additional considerations, the proteins in natural rubber can induce allergic reactions unless the amount of water extractable protein is low. Because bumpers need to be compatible with chemicals they come into contact with, an industrial elastomeric product manufacturer may need to consult a compatibility chart.
Bumpers meet a variety of certifications and approvals. For bumpers used on road vehicles, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) publishes ISO 2958 (exterior protection for passenger cars) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) publishes SAE J2319 (low-speed impact bumper system test procedure for passenger vehicles). The SAE publishes SAE ARP1107B (tail bumpers for piloted aircraft) and ASTM International (formerly called the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) publishes ASTM F1917 (standard consumer safety performance specification for infant bedding and related accessories).