Silicone Grease on Rubber Bushings

Is there a benefit to putting silicone grease on rubber (not polyurethane) bushings to keep the bushing from cracking and drying up?

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A little silicone can’t hurt but they will still dry out and crack…'cause rubber does that.

Not exactly on topic but it’s about aging rubber. In 1970 I bought a package of rubber rope ( two lengths of round rubber with four metal adjustable hooks ) at Sears to hold down my canoe. Until they were lost helping a son move in 2012 they never deteriorated the slightest. No cracks, no loss of elasticity, no color loss……they were used extensively through the years and they still looked not almost new, but like new.

I still wonder why no rubber bungies or anything else of rubber lasted like those old rubber ropes from Sears.

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Silicon grease is my go to solution when reassebling rubber to metal parts and is easily available in the faucet repair area of most hardware stores.
Makes assembly easier and the grease seems to stay in place longer than the sprays and contain less solvents.

How come this isn’t listed on maintenance manuals, to grease rubber bushings with silicone grease after installed?

The vehicle manufactures want you to buy a new car every 20 years. Rubber bushings are generally good for the life of the car.

Because they stopped putting enough anti oxidant additives in to the rubber? I don’t really know the answer but it must have something to do with the additives being changed. The same thing has happened with tires. The no loss of elasticity part is interesting, because old rubber would get hard but not lose strength. Somehow they were able to make the rubber softener last decades.

I used to think maybe they were 100% natural rubber?

Personally I wouldn’t know the difference between right out of the rubber tree and right out of the petrochemical plant.

I often thought why doesn’t every rubber bungee last like these……then I lost them after about 40 years of hard use.

I wonder about that too. I saw a documentary about how the tire industry is being pressured to use less natural rubber. Traditionally the industry would tend to use more natural rubber during times of high oil prices, if I remember correctly.

This is the documentary.

Some types of synthetic rubber, for example edpm rubber, are very strong & robust. “Rubber” is a term that applies to rubber-like material, and doesn’t specify what kind of rubber it is. Some types are weak and don’t last long, others, like edpm, are very durable.