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New Contributor

Can uncured rubber covering be crosslinked?

I've had the rubber grip coating on power tools, computer mice etc become sticky.

1) what causes this (the mouse was exposed to moderate heat of a enclosed car), so that one might try to avoid it in the future, or is it just natural ageing.

2) on the web people talk about alleviating the symptoms by dusting with talcum powder. I'd like to know can it be more vulcanized by exposing to sulfur (powder or vapor fumes -gopher smoke control) maybe applying heat - what temp is necessary -steam? I understand some may be "chemically vulcanized" with a liquid application - what is this and can it be procured somewhat easily.?

It's particularly troubling because I just bought some new ryobi tools which seem rather sticky. I was previously given an old ryobi drill which was horrendously sticky and removed the coating completely with solvents.

thanks for your help,


p.s. the web could really benefit from your answer as really the only answer is dusting with talc.

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2 Replies
Contributor III

Re: Can uncured rubber covering be crosslinked?

Dear John,

Quick answer - I hear that isopropyl alcohol can dissolve and remove the soft sticky layer. I haven't tried it myself. HOWEVER, wherever you pick up ideas (lots of DIY "Hacks" and "How-tos" out there), remember that nowadays there are MANY different kinds of plastics and rubber formulations! "Cross-linking" vulcanization with sulfur is one of the originals, used for natural rubber (Goodyear) in tires. It may not have any effect on the particular type of rubber or plastic that you have.

Best regards,


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New Contributor

Re: Can uncured rubber covering be crosslinked?

Thank you for the quick reply.

I tried the alcohol on one small key chain devices with some vigorous rubbing did remove the "light flocking" coating (assumed to be done to enhance gripability). The mouse did not fare as well as it may be a thicker layer and I may need to resort to what I used previously (lacquer or paint thinner from recollection) to bring it a smooth uncoated surface. It made a little difference on the ryobi grips but I'll wait until it gets worse as they are brand new. And then there's a automotive accessory coiled power cord device that I had talc'd long ago (presumably full rubber with not the same coating applied for grip enhancement) that would be difficult to remedy with alcohol or other solvent.

If there are any further thoughts, they would be welcome..

Cheers, John

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