Purpose of Rubber Quality Testing
Rubber quality testing has several key purposes, depending on the stage of production and the goals of the manufacturer. In most cases, quality testing is required before launch to ensure that the product or material meets the expectations set out by the appropriate governing body. This may include ASTM International, SAE International, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), or an OEM specification.
Quality testing may also be conducted at different stages of development to look for possible issues, such as contaminants in raw materials or compounds or physical performance shortcomings. An experienced testing laboratory can look for quality issues at the molecular level as well as recreate unique service environments in a laboratory setting to assess whether the material or product can withstand any harsh conditions.
Another function of rubber quality testing is competitive benchmarking. Using laboratory testing data to compare your product to a competitor product can unveil meaningful insight into what your competition is doing, which can pave the way for improving your product and achieving a competitive advantage.
Types of Quality Testing
True quality is defined by and reliant upon an array of factors and attributes. As a result, rubber quality testing ranges from chemical analysis at a microscopic scale to the recreation of potentially harsh environmental conditions in a laboratory setting. Understanding the different types of quality testing is critical to designing a testing program that accounts for the unique considerations of each product or material.
Material Qualification and Validation
The purpose of material qualification and validation is to investigate the quality and purity of a raw material. This may occur when a manufacturer is investigating a new material that may replace another. Material qualification and validation is also valuable for simply verifying the quality of an incoming batch of materials, whether it’s from a new supplier or longstanding partner, for quality control purposes. Assessing rubber materials for quality before manufacturing begins allows companies to detect potential issues early and reduce the likelihood of problems occurring during production.
Physical Properties Testing
Physical properties testing is key to verifying rubber quality from a durability and performance perspective. A rubber quality testing lab can recreate environmental conditions in a controlled environment and observe how the material performs when exposed to those variables. For example, materials that must perform in tight quarters may be subjected to abrasion testing, and products designated for high-heat service environments may be placed in an aging oven for an extended period. The data gathered during these tests can reveal whether or not the material has been designed and formulated appropriately for its service environment or whether the manufacturer needs to make adjustments.
Chemical analysis testing can reveal critical quality data about rubber materials at the chemical level, including trace elements of contaminants or inconsistencies between batches. Many different methods fall under the umbrella of chemical analysis and can reveal valuable insight into material quality at a molecular level. For example, analytical techniques such as chromatography and spectrometry may be utilized to quantify and qualify the chemical constituents within a given material.
Testing From The Rubber Experts
The rubber experts at ACE Laboratories understand the many different types of quality that must be considered when designing and producing an excellent product. Our team can design a custom quality testing protocol and conduct standardized testing programs to ensure that your product or material meets the expectations of your industry. Whether you’re seeking to assess the quality of a new rubber material or preparing to go to market, you can count on ACE to support your quality goals. And with the fastest turnaround times in the industry, we can help you stick to your schedule and navigate unexpected setbacks with minimal delay.
To learn more about our full suite of rubber quality testing services, talk to a member of our team >