How to Remove Vulcanized Rubber From Metal

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Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves

  • Serrated knife

  • Razor blade and holder

  • Dust mask

  • Heat gun

  • Hair dryer

  • Putty knife

  • Liquid detergent soap


Work in a well-ventilated area; go outside if possible. If you cannot go outside, work in a large room, open all of the windows and place a fan in the room.

Use mechanical and chemical means to remove vulcanized rubber.
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Most manufactured rubber is vulcanized to some extent. Vulcanized rubber is more durable and elastic than natural rubber, giving it a wider range of commercial applications. Vulcanized rubber is attached to metal in a variety of products, usually with contact cement or another adhesive. To remove vulcanized rubber from metal you must strip away the rubber then remove the adhesive layer between the rubber and the metal.


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Step 1

Put on a pair of insulated work gloves.

Step 2

Pull the majority of the rubber away. If the rubber is thin and pliable enough, the bulk of the material will come away from the metal. If the rubber is too thick or rigid to pull away from the metal, move on to Step 2.


Step 3

Cut the rubber -- or the remainder of the rubber -- away from the metal with a sharp, serrated knife. Keep cutting and removing until you reach the adhesive layer. Try to scrape away the adhesive with a razor blade. If you cannot, then cut until you can cut no more.

Step 4

Put on a dust mask.


Step 5

Melt the remaining adhesive. Certain contact cements, construction adhesives and epoxies will soften and melt under the high heat of a heat gun or hair dryer. Pass the heat over the adhesive for 30 seconds. The metal will heat quickly. Scrape at the softened cement with a putty knife. If the adhesive softens, keep softening and scraping until the adhesive is removed. If the adhesive doesn't soften, move on to Step 4.


Step 6

Remove the hardened adhesive or the remainder of the adhesive with a solvent-based adhesive remover, such as one containing methyl ethyl ketone. Follow the manufacturer's instructions included in the packaging. Coat the adhesive with the remover and leave it in place for the manufacturer-recommended amount of time or until the adhesive softens. Scrape the softened adhesive away with a putty knife. Re-apply and remove again if necessary.

Step 7

Wash the metal piece with soap and water.


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