Material Specification

Our experts are here to provide guidance on material specification requirements, Smithers Rapra offers this as a stand-alone service or one which can be supported by independent analysis of material properties. 

Designing to ensure product reliability is critical to businesses in part due to the increasing importance of:

  • Environmental concerns.
  • Certification in order to become approved suppliers.
  • An awareness of quality costs.
  • Product liability claims.

Plastic Rubber

Plastic Material Specification

In an age of innovative product development and ever demanding performance criteria, engineers and designers have become increasingly aware of the importance plastics play across a wide band of engineering applications. They are under pressure to ensure that their products can safely perform throughout a prolonged life span. This is particularly relevant to companies investing in research and development as the result of inappropriate material selection can prove to be very costly.

Independent material specification support from world-leading polymer experts

Our investigations suggest that 45% of polymer product failures occur as a result of materials miss-selection and poor specification. Material selection requires a judicious approach and a successful selection process must take into account the full range of short and long term material performance requirements that may be experienced by the product during processing, assembly, storage, transport and service.

Smithers Rapra provides expert support to both manufacturers and material suppliers. Functional requirements and necessary material attributes are identified to create a Product Design Specification (PDS). Material attributes are considered as essential or desirable properties and used to carry out a search to eliminate materials which fall outside the boundaries of acceptability. We also check whether the material supplied is the same grade or type as specified, or originally sampled.

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

Rubber and Elastomer Material Specification

Many rubber material specifications are inadequate for their product. A specification which states “Black rubber 75 hardness” tells you nothing about the rubber type, its composition, key properties or how durable it is likely to be. Alarmingly a material supplier could make significant formulation changes and still achieve this specification, resulting in a material change potentially detrimental to performance of the product.

Creating a detailed and accurate specification is vital. We help clients create detailed and accurate provisions to ensure consistency between compound batches and help prevent unauthorised changes to the compound formulation.

Independent Material Specification Development Service

Creating a definitive material specification can be a cost-saving opportunity and may allow the material to be sourced from more than one supplier whilst retaining the reduction in risk of failure.

Depending on the existing specification our experts will review the product, material and operational environment. They will benchmark the material, confirming rubber type, grade and bulk composition. The key material property versus the operation duty is determined, we then test batches of the material to provide data which informs the creation of a starting specification for the product. 

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For guidance with your material specification please get in touch with our featured rubbers expert.