Göran Spetz, manager and owner of Elastocon AB, talks to AZoM about the degradation of rubber materials and the need for artificial ageing of rubber within industry.
Could you explain the need for durability testing, such as ageing and lifetime estimation, for testing materials in industry?
To optimize the life time of products and materials is getting more and more important for the industry, especially the automotive industry.
What are some of the unique considerations when these durability tests are applied to rubber materials?
You have to determine the environment where the material and product is going to be used. Such as temperatures, humidity, mechanical stresses etc to be able to make a test for determination of the life time.
What are some of the key factors that accelerate the degradation of rubber materials?
The most important factors are temperature and oxidation of the material, some materials are also sensitive for hydrolysis in contact with water or steam.
The way that rubber degrades is a chief consideration in many different industries, including the automotive industry. Image credit: photos.com.
Which are the most important parameters to have control over when accelerating the ageing of rubber artificially?
The most important factor is the temperature, as one °C difference is equal to about 10 % of the testing time.
What are the primary reactions that take place during the ageing of rubber?
In the rubber we have three main reactions going on during use, oxidation if in contact with air, thermal ageing depending on temperature and continued cross-linking in the beginning of the use, if the material was not properly cured.
Could you outline the primary differences between Cell Ageing Ovens, Cabinet Ageing Ovens and Test Tube Ovens?
In the cell ovens different materials are separated by having its own cell to avoid cross contaminations between different materials. He same is valid for Test tube ovens but here you do not know the air exchange rate which shall be 3 to 10 times an hour and is controlled in a cell oven. The cabinet ovens have the accuracy as the cell ovens, but a larger space for samples.
Cabinet ageing oven EB 04-II for rubber and plastic materials from Elastocon AB. Image credit: Elastocon.
What are the different applications of the ovens outlined above?
Cell ovens are best used for ageing of test pieces for material testing, test tube ovens are best for testing ageing in liquids and the cabinet ovens for testing products or if you have many test pieces of similar materials.
About Göran Spetz
Göran is Manager and owner of Elastocon AB. Elastocon manufactures and sells testing instruments for rubber and plastic materials. Elastocon offer instruments for existing test methods and also have the capability to develop instruments for new test methods. Elastocon's objective is to offer instruments with high precision, giving accurate results.
Elastocon offer the following:
The range of instruments includes OEM developed instruments as well as instruments from several known instrument manufacturers. This makes it possible for Elastocon to offer a wide range of instruments and you only need one supplier.
More of Göran’s career highlights are provided below:
- LPRI examination 1973
- Firestone Sweden - Laboratory manager
- The Swedish National Testing Institute - Manager Rubber Testing
- ISO TC 45 Rubber and Rubber Products - Convener of 3 working groups
- The Swedish Society of Rubber Technology - Chairmen
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