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Discussion Starter #1
Ive been seeing several people on forums comment about the speaker rubber surrounds rotting and needing replacement. Why is this and is it due to high humidity climates? I have speakers that are almost 18 years old that still have shown no sign of the so called rot problem.
 

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Excellent question Tony- I've been shying away from foam surrounds as they seemed to deteriorate really fast (in a few years sometimes) when I lived on the Gulf coast (TX). Now, you said people are having rubber surround breakdown, hmm...hope someone has the answer:waiting:
 

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When you think about it, foam is mostly air, whereas rubber is relatively solid. The rubber will have more stuff to rot away, therefore, will take longer to do so. But, there are probably many other factors involved. One will be more susceptible to oxidation than the other, etc. Besides, a rotted surround is a great way to convince someone to upgrade! Dennis
 

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Not changing your socks after humping all day through the jungle and streams! Always bring dry socks.

Seriously though, modern foam and rubber surrounds have coatings that help prevent or at least delay this break down quite a bit.
 

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I dont understand why speaker manufacturers would even make a speaker using foam surrounds I've read that it breaks down so fast in some climates that it needs replacement within as little as 5 years. Now I'm hearing reports that the rubber surround will also break down in some instances.
 

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From the little bit of research I've done, it seems to be mostly due to exposure to sunlight, high temperatures, and ozone.
 

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My understanding is that it is due to a fungus.

I suspect that the largest reason for using foam has been to lower costs. It may be lighter as well, and some foam surrounds seem to be more compliant than rubber.
 

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Assuming the speaker is not in a harsh environment (overly humid or lots of smokers), foams and rubbers will age like everything else and dependent on the chemical process, some will do so sooner than later. Even manufacturers that are careful will occasionally have a bad batch (probably the Friday afternoon syndrome).

Bob
 

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I'm glad this is not a problem for most of us-this hobby is expensive enough as it is!
 

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I third the bad music one. :p

but on a serious not, i think some reasons for it is, isnt foam a gasoline based product? So doesnt it dry out more over time. Next, we have the reason of things just wear down over time. Third, when its exposed to constand motion, although not always extreme or continous, it does move. So we have it slowly drying, getting time wear, and expansion and contration wear, I think all of it combined it just causes it to lose its integrity, and cracks and falls apart, becoming brittle.
 
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