The rubber industry is one of many industries that trust ASTM testing, conducted by ASTM certified labs, to measure the safety and performance of their products and materials. ASTM test standards are developed by teams of experienced professionals and serve as industry benchmarks for quality.

What is ASTM Testing?

ASTM testing refers to a testing protocol determined by ASTM International, a worldwide leader in the development of voluntary consensus standards. ASTM International is comprised of over 30,000 members worldwide, all of whom contribute to the development of test methods and protocols. Each ASTM member brings valuable experience and perspective to the development process, ensuring a final standard that represents the needs of a given industry.

The history of ASTM International stretches back to 1898, when it was known as the American Society of the International Association for Testing of Materials. This organization was originally focused on assessing steel in the railroad industry in Pennsylvania.

Over a century later, ASTM International publishes testing standards for a wide range of industries and materials, including rubber, plastic, metals, textiles, electronics, and many more. Many ASTM standards are voluntary consensus, whereas others have been adopted as law.

ASTM Standards

An ASTM standard operates like a universal benchmark for quality and safety. Some ASTM standards have been adopted by government bodies, but most standards function as shared agreements. Virtually anyone in a given industry understands the value and importance of achieving compliance with a universal ASTM standard.

Every ASTM testing specification is designed to assess whether a material or product meets the appropriate performance and safety standards. But there’s an additional benefit to ASTM standards: credibility. A product that can demonstrate compliance with the appropriate ASTM standards is seen as more trustworthy than a competitor product that cannot.

Compliance to ASTM Methodology

Theoretically, any laboratory could buy a copy of an ASTM specification and carry out the testing protocol. But this approach is similar to trusting the average home cook to prepare a meal using recipes from a five-star restaurant’s head chef. Without the right training, practice, and equipment, the results simply will not be the same.

The purpose of the methodology compliance process is to ensure that the lab is delivering accurate, consistent testing data. If testing equipment is poorly calibrated or a technician is careless with a procedure, it can affect the results of the test. Inaccurate testing data is irresponsible at best and downright dangerous at worst. If inconsistent testing leads to inaccurate data, a material might get approved for use when, in reality, it doesn’t comply with safety or performance standards. This can lead to product failure. Depending on the context, someone could get hurt.

Compliance to ASTM methodology is accredited via ISO/IEC 17025. As part of this process, laboratories undergo a rigorous inspection and review process. The certification body will review pages upon pages of documentation and standard operating procedures. Auditors will stop by to assess every element of the lab in person, including testing equipment and safety procedures. Lab staff may be interviewed, as well. The process is intense, and the expectations are high.

Even after the accreditation process is complete, ISO/IEC 17025 certified labs are still required to comply with regular monitoring and check-ins with the accreditation body. This is to ensure that the lab continues to meet expectations for accreditation. If a lab loses focus and fails to meet expectations, they could lose their certification.

An ISO/IEC 17025 accredited lab is usually granted a scope of accreditation. The scope of accreditation is essentially a list of ASTM standards and other testing protocols that the lab is certified to perform on behalf of clients. If a client is seeking to demonstrate compliance with an ASTM standard, testing data from the lab is considered sufficient evidence for proving that all criteria are met. See the list of ASTM standards including our ISO/IEC 17025 scope of accreditation > 

Many ASTM testing standards can only be conducted using specific types of testing equipment, so the scope of accreditation will reflect the lab’s available testing technology. This is one of the great benefits of outsourcing ASTM testing to an accredited rubber testing laboratory: It saves you from having to buy your own testing equipment. Additionally, you can trust that all testing is being conducted by experienced testing professionals.

Types of ASTM Tests for Rubber

There are well over 100 active ASTM standards specific to the rubber industry. ASTM testings for rubber have many purposes, including:

  • To observe the behavior of a rubber material under controlled conditions, such as a given temperature range. Examples include ASTM D1329, ASTM D573, and ASTM D395.
  • To measure a rubber material’s resistance to different types of deterioration. Examples include ASTM D5963 and ASTM D624.
  • To assess a rubber material’s resistance to various stressors and environmental rigors by isolating a single variable in a controlled environment. Examples include ASTM D1149 and ASTM C1166.
  • To report the physical and chemical properties of a rubber material or product. Examples include ASTM D6204 and ASTM D1414.
  • To observe the processability of a rubber material to predict behavior in a manufacturing environment. Examples include ASTM D2230 and ASTM D3182.

Some ASTM tests are designed to predict performance in extremely specific contexts, such as a tire tread on an icy road. Others are suited for more general assessments, such as a rubber material’s resistance to abrasion. An accredited lab can recommend the right suite of tests for your specific needs.

ACE Laboratories

ACE Laboratories is an accredited laboratory specializing in rubber testing. Our scope of accreditation includes dozens of ASTM standards as well as other rubber testing protocols. Everyone on our testing team has years of experience with ASTM standards, so you can count on impeccable testing and accurate data. Our team can also design a custom testing plan if you need additional data beyond what a given ASTM standard might provide. Learn more about our testing services > 

Scope of Accreditation: List of ASTM Standards

ACE Laboratories is proud to be an accredited laboratory. Our scope of accreditation includes the following ASTM standards:

Closed Accordion Start CSS
ASTM Standards Included in ACE’s Scope of Certification

ASTM D297 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Products—Chemical Analysis

ASTM D395 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Compression Set

ASTM D412 Standard Test Methods for Vulcanized Rubber and Thermoplastic Elastomers—Tension

ASTM D471 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Effect of Liquids

ASTM D573 Standard Test Method for Rubber—Deterioration in an Air Oven

ASTM D624 Standard Test Method for Tear Strength of Conventional Vulcanized Rubber and Thermoplastic Elastomers

ASTM D926 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Plasticity and Recovery (Parallel Plate Method)

ASTM D1349 Standard Practice for Rubber—Standard Conditions for Testing

ASTM D1646 Standard Test Methods for Rubber—Viscosity, Stress Relaxation, and Pre-Vulcanization Characteristics (Mooney Viscometer)

ASTM D2240 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Durometer Hardness

ASTM D3182 Standard Practice for Rubber—Materials, Equipment, and Procedures for Mixing Standard Compounds and Preparing Standard Vulcanized Sheets

ASTM D3183 Standard Practice for Rubber—Preparation of Pieces for Test Purposes from Products

ASTM D3767 Standard Practice for Rubber—Measurement of Dimensions

ASTM D5289 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Vulcanization Using Rotorless Cure Meters

ASTM D6204 Standard Test Method for Rubber—Measurement of Unvulcanized Rheological Properties Using Rotorless Shear Rheometers

ASTM D7121 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Resilience Using Schob Type Rebound Pendulum

ASTM D6370 Standard Test Method for Rubber—Compositional Analysis by Thermogravimetry (TGA)

ASTM D7426 Standard Test Method for Assignment of the DSC Procedure for Determining Tg of a Polymer or an Elastomeric Compound

ASTM D1329 Standard Test Method for Evaluating Rubber Property—Retraction at Lower Temperatures (TR Test)

ASTM D2137 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Brittleness Point of Flexible Polymers and Coated Fabrics

ASTM D746 Standard Test Method for Brittleness Temperature of Plastics and Elastomers by Impact

ASTM D2230 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Extrudability of Unvulcanized Compounds

ASTM D6601 Standard Test Method for Rubber Properties—Measurement of Cure and After-Cure Dynamic Properties Using a Rotorless Shear Rheometer

ASTM D257 Standard Test Methods for DC Resistance or Conductance of Insulating Materials

ASTM D991 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Volume Resistivity Of Electrically Conductive and Antistatic Products

ASTM D5963 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Abrasion Resistance (Rotary Drum Abrader)

ASTM D1149 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Deterioration—Cracking in an Ozone Controlled Environment

UL 94 Standard for Safety of Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliances

ASTM D1414 Standard Test Methods for Rubber O-Rings

ASTM D750 Standard Practice for Rubber Deterioration Using Artificial Weathering Apparatus

ASTM D4574 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Compounding Materials—Determination of Ash Content

ASTM D4571 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Compounding Materials—Determination of Volatile Material

ASTM D865 Standard Test Method for Rubber—Deterioration by Heating in Air (Test Tube Enclosure)

ASTM D575 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Properties in Compression

ASTM D925 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Staining of Surfaces (Contact, Migration, and Diffusion)

ASTM D1894 Standard Test Method for Static and Kinetic Coefficients of Friction of Plastic Film and Sheeting

ASTM D4587 Standard Practice for Fluorescent UV-Condensation Exposures of Paint and Related Coatings

ASTM D1415 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—International Hardness

ASTM D413 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Adhesion to Flexible Substrate

ASTM D429 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Adhesion to Rigid Substrates

ASTM D903 Standard Test Method for Peel or Stripping Strength of Adhesive Bonds

ASTM D1171 Standard Test Method for Rubber Deterioration—Surface Ozone Cracking Outdoors (Triangular Specimens)

ASTM D6814 Standard Test Method for Determination of Percent Devulcanization of Crumb Rubber Based on Crosslink Density

ASTM C1166 Standard Test Method for Flame Propagation of Dense and Cellular Elastomeric Gaskets and Accessories

ASTM D635 Standard Test Method for Rate of Burning and/or Extent and Time of Burning of Plastics in a Horizontal Position

ASTM D792 Standard Test Methods for Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Plastics by Displacement

ASTM D3389 Standard Test Method for Coated Fabrics Abrasion Resistance (Rotary Platform Abrader)

ASTM D813 Standard Test Method for Rubber Deterioration—Crack Growth

ASTM D430 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Deterioration—Dynamic Fatigue

ASTM D6746 Standard Test Method for Determination of Green Strength and Stress Relaxation of Raw Rubber or Unvulcanized Compounds

ASTM D1053 Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Stiffening at Low Temperatures: Flexible Polymers and Coated Fabrics

In the news

A Guide to Cool Roof Systems

What Is a Cool Roof System? Traditionally, commercial and residential buildings alike have roofs made from dark materials, such as shingles and tiles. Dark roofing materials absorb more heat than lighter materials, and that heat is transferred to the building, which...

read more

What Is FDA CFR 21 177.2600 and How Can I be Compliant?

The consumer goods industry is highly regulated, especially regarding food safety. If you’re making any kind of rubber or polymer part for machines that process food, you need to understand and comply with the FDA’s 21 CFR 177.2600 regulations. This standard is often...

read more