Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Operation Experimentation Update #2

Awhile ago I put a pair of Black Tattoo City boots on my front porch to see how the sun would affect them. The left boot had one application of LaCrosse Rubber Conditioner, the right had nothing. I wanted to see:

#1. How long it would take for the sun to begin to damage the rubber

#2. If a rubber conditioner could help prevent this damage

Now that the boots have been sitting on my porch for a few weeks I thought I had better take a gander at them to see what's up.

We have had a few really warm days but overall it has been sunny and in the 70s. The boots are in the sun maybe 2 to 3 hours a day, morning sun only. So not even the super strong, afternoon sun.

Other than looking a might bit dusty, they still look fine. But upon closer inspection, I noticed when I 'pinched' the rubber together on the front of the boots, it cracked. When I did this, I could actually hear the rubber make a crackling sound. The cracks themselves were very thin, hairline 'fractures' that ran all along the front of the boots where the sun shone on them and appeared on both boots. The sides and backs of the boots don't appear to be affected at all. The rubber there is still supple and not showing any UV damage.

(I took a bunch of pictures but it was difficult to get a clear, close up photo of the damage. Hopefully you can see the tiny lines in the rubber in this picture. You can see them best on the black area below the skull and crossbones. They appear white and look like scratches.)

Bottom Line:

Sun: 1
Rubber Boots: 0

The next few days are going to seriously heat up, potentially over 100 degrees. I put another round of the rubber conditioner on the left boot and sat them back out on their porch location as shown above. I'll check back on them (and report back to you) in a few more weeks.

Although I do think the rubber conditioner is helpful and is good for maintaining the shine and moisture in the rubber, the sun is just too detrimental to rubber. Boots can't be left in the sun at all without them becoming damaged very quickly.

So be sure to tuck those boots away in a cool, dark place when they aren't on your feet.

Bloggin' off for now.

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