What's the difference between aromatic and aliphatic binders?

Aromatic binders are used on 90% of poured in place rubber applications. Aliphatic binders are usually specified in splash pads, swimming pool decks and where color integrity is a must. Let's start with Aliphatic binders. Aliphatics are clear binders. They are double the price of aromatics which makes them non affordable in most situations. Because they are clear they tend to be more UV resistant and won't change the color of the EPDM granules. They are also more resistant to pool chemicals and chlorine, which makes them the premiere choice over aromatic binders in those applications. 

poured in place ambering

Aromatic binders on the other hand are amber in color so they tend to have a yellowing effect on EPDM granules. Some colors are more affected than others by Aromatic binders, such as light grey and some light beiges. The ambering/yellowing effect is actually temporary. As the surface is used, foot traffic will get rid of the top varnish over the granules and the EPDM granules will go back to their original color. In the repair above, the actual mix with blue and back, but because of the yellowing effect, the ganules tuned into green and black temporarily.

The bottom line: If you are installing poured in place near a pool or as a splash pad, use aliphatic binders. If you would are using bright colors and the budget is not an issue, use aliphatic binders. Otherwise aromatic binders are good enough. Just be aware of the yellowing effect.

If you have any questions, drop me a line at info@trassig.com or call: 203-659-0456