Rubber Testing, rubber test, testing of rubber
APM Testing provides A2LA accredited (ISO 17025) laboratory services for mechanical testing of rubber, chemical analysis of rubber, performance testing of rubber, and rubber material certification. In addition to rubber testing, our laboratory also does plastic testing, metal testing, oil testing, paint testing, plating testing, adhesive testing, circuit board testing, and other testing.
Mechanical Testing of Rubber
Tensile Properties (ASTM D412) and Durometer A Hardness (ASTM D2240) provide a good baseline measurement of the properties of a rubber. These two properties are the most common baseline measurements made on rubber samples. Durometer A Hardness (ASTM D2240) is also known as Shore hardness. Small samples cannot be measured using standard methods but micro-hardness measurements can be made using an IRHD Hardness (ASTM D1415) measurement.
Chemical Analysis of Rubber
FTIR Analysis (ASTM E1252) can identify the major organic component of a rubber and EDS Analysis identifies the major inorganic component of a rubber. Basic identification using these two methods is often enough to tell the difference between two rubber samples and requires only one gram of material. Unfortunately many rubbers contain a mixture of ten or more compounds so it can be very expensive to go beyond a basic identification and identify all of the ingredients. Industry standard is to specify the major type of rubber along with several performance requirements which allows suppliers to improve formulations as long as the performance requirements are still met. The problem with this method is that most rubber suppliers consider their formulation to be a trade secret and will only release performance properties for their proprietary formulas.
Performance Testing of Rubber
Rubber is commonly used in seals that are exposed to fuels, oils, chemicals, and high temperatures. Many rubber specifications include requirements for hardness (ASTM D2240), tensile strength (ASTM D412), elongation (ASTM D412), and volume change (ASTM D471) after fluid exposure (ASTM D471) and/or heat resistance (ASTM D573). Compression set (ASTM D395) is used to measure how much of a permanent set a rubber o-ring or seal will have after service.
Rubber Material Certification
Material specifications list specific performance requirements for different grades of rubber. Material specifications differ from test methods because test methods only specify how to test for a property but do not include acceptable ranges for the test results. ASTM D2000 and SAE J200 are two of the most common material specifications for rubber. Both specifications must be followed by a string of numbers and letters known as a “line call out” which contains the actual test requirements.
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