Material Selection

New product design and compound development, material replacement to meet legislative requirements (such as Food Contact, Medical and Pharmaceutical), substitution of grades phased out by material manufacturers –these are just a few reasons why you may require the selection a new material for your product.

Our experts can help you with material selection to reduce the risk of product failure by:                  

  • Selecting the most appropriate material for your application
  • Reducing the likelihood of product failure
  • Improving product performance and quality 

Smithers Rapra has been providing independent material selection services for over 30 years. We specialize in providing comprehensive reviews of material options and work with customers across a wide range of industry sectors including automotive, customer goods, industrial, medical and transport. 

Plastic  Rubber

Plastic Material Selection

Statistics from our failure diagnostic activities indicate that around 45% of all failures are in some part due to a poor plastic material choice and specification. In order to pre-empt product failure our experts offer independent guidance and advice in selecting the most appropriate plastic material to meet complex product performance requirements.

Failure to include all the material requirements in the selection process is a frequent cause of unsuitable usage later on. Rarely does an available material meet every requirement in a particular application, but Smithers Rapra can help with specification and prioritizing requirements. We are also able to give impartial assessments of the suitability of any given material for a particular application, as our experts have a comprehensive understanding of plastic material properties and behavior.

Smithers Rapra makes independent, objective, informed opinions based on the whole spectrum of generic and sub-generic materials available today. In our project assessments we always consider longer-term performance for engineering and safety concerns and highlight any conflicts in requirements.

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For guidance with your material selection please get in touch with our featured plastics expert.

Rubber and Elastomer Material Selection

With over 35 rubber elastomers available and the ability to further modify properties by compounding it can be challenging for non-specialists to select the most appropriate rubber polymer for their requirements. Incorrect rubber polymer choices account for around 50% of the failures Smithers Rapra investigates.

Selecting unsuitable rubber or elastomers can lead to premature product failure, significant warranty costs, loss of reputation and sales plus potential litigation. It is therefore critically important to specify the right compound for rubber components at the materials selection stage to avoid premature product failure and the costs and problems associated with this.

Our rubber experts are experienced in the practical application of rubber process manufacturing and design and have extensive knowledge of material properties, limitations of the polymers and their failure modes. We routinely undertake material selection exercises for customers, providing impartial assessments of the suitability of any rubber material, taking into account processing, properties and working environment.

Using technical reports, we outline potential materials and confirm their strengths and weaknesses. By highlighting where conflicts potentially exist we can advise on those that may negatively impact longer-term performance and identify issues that should be addressed before the final choice is made for developing suitable compounds.

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For guidance with your material selection please  get in touch with our featured rubber experts.