Material Properties

Our ISO 17025 physical testing laboratories provide a comprehensive range of testing services for plastics and rubber materials, to various national and international standards.

It is critical for manufacturers to understand the performance properties of their intended or selected material. Our physical testing services will allow product developers and manufacturers to gain a greater understanding of their materials, and enhance quality control. Our expert team can:

  • Create a custom testing programme to enable you to uncover specific properties of your material
  • Help you select an appropriate material for your project, or validate that your existing material choices are suitable
  • Provide proof that material properties comply with standard legislation
  • Assist in the development of new materials, tailored to the properties required for your project
  • Identify the root cause of material failure

Our most common tests and products are listed below:


Products and materials tested include:

  • Thermal properties
    • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
    • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Chemical/fluid resistance
  • Mechanical and physical properties
    • Compressive tests
    • Flexural properties
    • Hardness
    • Impact properties
    • Low temperature brittleness properties
    • Low temperature crystallisation properties
    • Low temperature retraction
    • Low temperature stiffening (Gehman test)
    • Rubber fatigue / crack growth
    • Stress relaxation
    • Tensile properties
  • Batch conformance testing
    • Compound supply
    • Rheology testing
    • Capillary Rheometry
    • Rotational & Ocillatory Viscometry
    • Melt Flow Rate
  • Environmental testing
    • Resistance to UV ageing
    • Resistance to Ozone cracking
    • Resistance to heat
    • Resistance to humidity
  • Material selection, development and evaluation
  • Failure analysis and expert witness
  • Formulation design
  • Rubber, plastics and composite materials
  • Plastics – including cellular, reinforced, cross-linked, ABS, Acetal, PMMA, PVC, EVA, LDPE, HDPE, PP, Nylons, PET, PBT, Polycarbonate, PEEK, PVDF, PTFE, TPU’s.
  • Rubber materials – including Natural, EPDM, SBR, Butyl, Vitons, Silicones.
  • Flexible sheet / film
  • Laminates
  • Cables
  • Layflat hoses BS 6391
  • Gasket materials
  • Life safety appliances
    • Life raft materials
    • Life jacket materials
  • Electrical safety wear
    • Electrician gloves
    • Electrician sleeves
  • Protective clothing / coated fabrics
  • Gloves
  • Pipes and fittings
  • Pipe Joint Seals
  • Medical Products


Standards and Accreditation

Smithers Rapra can test to a range of international standards, including those specific to the aerospace industry and maritime safety committee standards. These include:

Safety Wear / Vessels

Aerospace and Automotive


Pipes / Hoses



ISO 9650

MSC 70/23

Airbus ABR standards

ISO 7628

ISO 6722

ISO 14572

BS 6469

BS EN ISO 60811

ISO 7628

JLR Specifications

BS EN 1519

BS ISO 4427

BS ISO 11357

For more information on how we can develop a custom testing programme to a specific standard or set of standards, please contact our team.

Our laboratories are UKAS accredited to ISO 17025.

Sample Preparation

Our technicians have sample preparation facilities, allowing us to form test specimens from most material states.

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