Low Temperature Properties

Concerns regarding low temperature behavior may range from the need for basic specification compliance tests to actual service demands for performance in very cold, harsh environments.

Our on-site sample preparation facilities allow us to test a wide variety of materials and product forms.  

Smithers Rapra have a wealth of experience in testing four key low temperature properties:

  • Brittleness
  • Crystallization
  • Retraction
  • Stiffening (Gehman)

In addition, we can also determine the Glass Transition Temperature (Tg) of a material. This is the temperature range in which a hard, rigid thermosetting polymer changes to a more elastic, "rubberized" form. 


This test determines either;

  • The lowest temperature at which materials do not exhibit brittle failure


  • The temperature where 50% of test pieces fail under specified conditions.

We can test rubber materials to ISO 812 and ASTM D2137.


This test determines either; 

  • The increase in hardness after a specified storage time 


  • The time required for a specified increase in hardness to occur.

Currently we are able to test to sub-ambient temperatures down to -55°C. We can test rubber materials to ISO 3387. 


The low temperature retraction procedure (known as the TR test), measures the retraction as a function of temperature of a pre-strained sufficiently cooled test pieces. Our lowest achievable temperature is approximately -73°C. The technique yields the temperatures which correspond to 10, 30, 50 and 70 and retraction which are designated TR10, TR30, TR50 and TR70 respectively.

We can test retraction properties to BS ISO 2921 and ASTM D1329.

Torsion / Stiffening (Gehman Test)

The low temperature stiffening procedure (known as the Gehman test), measures the torsional stiffness of test pieces as a function of temperature. We can start from a low temperature of approximately -70°C. The technique yields torsional and relative modulus values as well as an apparent torsional modulus of rigidity value.

We can test rubber materials to ISO 1432.