The Importance Of Elastomer Testing
Different types of elastomeric materials and rubbers are used in an ever-increasing number of applications. In all of these applications, choosing the correct material is based on understanding the properties of the material choices and how they perform under different environments and conditions.
When manufacturers produce new types of elastomers or rubbers, or to test current formulations for quality and process control, the use of different options in elastomer testing will be essential. These tests will provide information on the physical properties of the sample which can be compared to the standards and requirements for the end-user, typically the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer).
In-House or Outsourced Lab?
There are two different options that any plastic or rubber manufacturer can use for elastomer testing. One option is to outsource the testing to an independent laboratory and testing facility.
This has the advantage of limiting the need for your company to purchase equipment, train technicians and maintain the equipment to do the tests. The obvious disadvantage is that it cannot be a continual process and there will be an inherent time delay between sampling and test results.
For a small company, the outsourcing option may be possible for a short period of time. However, the faster a company moves to their own elastomer testing in-house the more responsive they can be to process control or quality control issues that may occur between production runs.
The use of at line types of testing systems can provide a continual way to test production in real-time. This data can be collected and stored through specialized software programs and with flexible configurations that can be designed to work specifically for the desired testing needs.
These systems can be designed to be very compact without compromising on testing parameter options and precision. With the ability to add different components to create the testing required, they are an investment in quality and process control that can grow with production.