Blooming: When you receive your bumper plates you may notice a white to gray powdery substance on some plates. This is called “blooming” . It is part of the curing process of virgin rubber compounds. “Virgin rubber” refers to natural rubber and first use rubber compounds as opposed to synthetic rubber like compounds or recycled rubber. Virgin rubber compounds are combined with surface protectants (antioxidants/anti-ozonants). These chemicals, migrate to the surface of the rubber where they are needed to protect the rubber by inhibiting surface oxidation. Once the substances migrate to the surface they leave a powdery residue. The residue poses no harm and can be removed with warm water and a terry cloth rag or towel.
Rubber Smell: Rubber does smell like.....well, rubber. If you've been to a tire shop you may recognize the smell of virgin rubber in the store. It's simply a property of real Rubber. If you have purchased Vulcan Bumper Plates, they were freshly manufactured within 30-45 days of your purchase. Over time and as the bumper plates are exposed to the air, the smell of the rubber will subside. Do not use chemicals such as pine sol or any type of chemical on bumper plates. Firstly, it will possibly make the smell worse and secondly, it can create a bad chemical reaction that could possibly impact the durability of the product. Vulcan bumper plates have a relatively low odor. The highest odor is generally that of any type of crumb rubber or recycled rubber (old tires) bumper plates. The best two things to lessen the rubber smell are time and air. Please understand that virgin rubber will always have some rubber smell. There is no type of odorless Rubber currently manufactured.
Dropping: Vulcan Bumper Plates are made to be dropped. Slamming is not dropping. Since 2011, we have had to replace a small number of bumper plates. If not abused, Vulcan Bumper Plates can last far beyond the warranty. Drop your bumper plates on rubber or wood. Using high density rubber bumper plates on raw concrete or asphalt will scratch them up pretty good of course and over time will wear down the rubber surface.
In closing, thanks for purchasing or considering Vulcan Bumper Plates and let us know if you have any questions. Now get to lifting!