Specifying Rubber to Avoid Failure

Upcoming course dates

May 15-15 2019 - £525.00

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Course duration: 1 day

Shawbury Shropshire, UK


Rubber materials are used in a diverse range of products, for example tyres, seals or even medical implants.

These materials are considered to be engineering materials therefore their mechanical properties are of paramount importance, both in terms of ensuring those products perform in an acceptable manner and also have the required service lifetime. Therefore, it is essential that those physical properties are controlled through an appropriate and effective specification.

This expert-led course provides a solid grounding in material properties, selection and failure mechanisms together with insight to help you design an appropriate specification for a rubber material or component.

Learning outcomes

  • A basic understanding of rubber materials and their key properties.
  • A grounding in the principles of selection of rubber materials based on service requirements.
  • Knowledge of how rubber materials and components can fail.
  • An introduction to the methodology employed in order to investigate rubber failure.
  • An insight into how to design an appropriate specification for a rubber material or component.

Course Content

Introduction to Rubber Materials

  • Basic introduction to what rubbers/ elastomers are, their fundamental properties and how this affects their performance.
  • Why they need to be formulated and vulcanised to achieve durable performance

Rubber Types

  • Overview of the range of rubber types, defines their structure and properties and how these can impact on their selection and durability in service.

Material Selection

  • Process and criteria for selection of an appropriate rubber type to ensure it is suitable for a given working environment.

Factors which cause Rubber Products to Fail

  • Key factors and environmental conditions which can cause the various rubber types to degrade, have a reduced service life or result in material/product failure.
  • Overview of the different modes of rubber product failure, how to identify them and understand their root cause.

Steps to Take to Prevent Product Failure

  • The approach to take when designing the product, selecting the rubber material, and manufacturing the product to ensure its durability.
  • Identifying which tests can be undertaken on the material/product to confirm its suitability in a given working environment.

Material Specification Optimisation

  • Having an appropriate rubber material specification is key to ensuring a long service life and reducing the risk of early failure. This section explains how to create a robust material specification, what tests should be included and how an existing specification can be optimised.

Techniques to identify the cause of Rubber Product Degradation

  • Overview of the range of tests and techniques available to analyse rubber materials and an affected product in order to determine the root cause of degradation or failure and help prevent its reoccurrence

Who Will Benefit?

This course will benefit:

Anyone wishing to ensure that a rubber component or material they are using in their product is suitable for the intended service usage.

Presenter Information

John Manley, Principal Consultant - Smithers Rapra

John has gained a wealth of polymer knowledge from over thirty years' experience of working in the rubber industry. He specialises in rubber technology, failure investigation, material selection and compound development. 

Gary Crutchley, Principal Consultant - Smithers Rapra

Gary spent seventeen years working in the tyre industry, developing rubber compound formulations. He has worked in both developmental and production-related roles, and is familiar with most rubber processing technologies.