Rubber manufacturers enlist the services of rubber testing laboratories like ACE for a number of reasons. In the case of rubber testing for consumer goods, manufacturers and other industry professionals need to know that their product will be safe and effective for consumers.
To find out if this will be the case for a given product or material, rubber testing laboratories perform mechanical and analytical testing. The appropriate course of rubber tests depends on the type of product at hand. As experts in the rubber industry, ACE technicians help manufacturers set product goals and expectations, then narrow in on the best rubber testing plan.
In addition to tests that predict product performance, rubber testing for consumer goods can also support research and development efforts. For example, ACE can reverse engineer competitor products to help manufacturers gain insights into their own developing products.
Rubber testing is also used for quality control and industry compliance. If a rubber product needs to meet a certain industry standard, ACE technicians run tests to make sure the product is compliant.
There are many things made out of rubber that need to undergo testing before they are made available to consumers. Often, this testing is required to ensure the product meets industry standards and regulations.
Learn more about a few of the most common consumer rubber products and how they benefit from thorough rubber testing.
Footwear is one of the major consumer goods that requires rubber testing. Rubber is the material of choice for many footwear soles thanks to its elastic quality and ability to provide impact cushioning between the consumer and the ground.
Because shoe soles are so important for consumer satisfaction, rubber testing is an important step in product development.
The most common problem when it comes to rubber soles is cracking. Cracks typically become a problem if the rubber cannot bear the flexural forces typical of daily wear. Since consumers are unlikely to buy a shoe brand again if their soles crack or wear down too quickly, rubber soles need to be durable and elastic.
So, in order to ensure consumers are getting shoes that won’t crack with wear, manufacturers seek out tests for elasticity, flexibility, and overall durability.
Consumers want to feel confident that protective rubber gloves will keep their hands safe and clean while working. Thorough rubber testing helps manufacturers deliver durable, high quality products to build consumer trust.
Many types of gloves are manufactured using rubber, including insulating gloves and latex gloves. Rubber insulating gloves protect electrical workers from shocks, so it is extremely important the gloves work as they should. Latex gloves allow healthcare and food industry workers to maintain sanitary conditions as they work.
No matter the type of glove, the rubber material used must be durable, elastic, and strong. Depending on the specific type of glove, ACE will recommend tests that help ensure consumer safety.
Silicone tubing needs to be durable and flexible enough to accommodate the needs of any unique food service situation. For silicone food tubing products to perform well, they must have excellent tensile strength and heat resistance.
A tubing tensile test involves stretching the tubing material for a predetermined amount of time, then allowing it to retract.
Heat resistance is important since the tubing may come in contact with hot liquids, like hot water for beverages. Testing for this quality may come in the form of flammability testing or heat aging tests.
In addition to meeting physical property requirements, food grade silicone tubing must also meet a number of standards, including FDA standards (US) and Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 compliance standards for food contact applications. If the tubing will be in contact with water, they must also be NSF51 and NSF61 approved for the transfer of drinking water.
ACE can perform analytical testing to confirm tubing meets these standards and requirements.
Rubber Testing for Compliance
Compliance requirements vary from industry to industry. Common compliance standards include RoHS compliance, Prop 65, and trace metal analysis.
Rubber testing laboratories like ACE can use analytical testing to examine the chemical makeup of your material. These standards require manufacturers to be aware of any heavy metals that may be present in their products. Test methods like X-Ray Fluorescence and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) allow ACE to detect the presence of heavy metals without being destructive to the finished product.
At ACE, we offer a wide variety of services for consumer rubber materials. ACE technicians collaborate with you to identify an appropriate course of testing for your rubber product, no matter the industry. With decades of experience in the rubber and silicone industries, the experts at ACE are here to help you meet product goals and industry standards.
Common Test Methods
ACE employs tried and true rubber testing methods to deliver repeatable, accurate results. These results inform research and development, quality control, and industry compliance. Frequently used rubber testing instruments and tests include mold flow analysis, UL94 flame testing ozone, rubber process analyzer (RPA), and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA).
As an analytical and physical testing laboratory, ACE offers tests including…
- Heat Aging
- Abrasion Testing
- Tension Testing
- Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
- Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
- Wet Chemistry
Since every product and industry is unique, the best rubber test for your product will always depend on your product goals. Bring those goals to ACE, and our rubber experts will help achieve them.
ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited
When choosing a rubber testing laboratory to work with, it is important to find one that is credible and trustworthy. Here at ACE, our rubber testing laboratory is ISO/IEC 17025 accredited.
ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation means ACE staff performs equipment calibrations and procedure validations frequently. This results in reliable, accurate, repeatable, and credible rubber testing results. To maintain accreditation, ACE must continue to meet high ISO/IEC 17025 standards, which means we are always working hard to maintain a standard of excellence.
Rubber Testing with ACE
Interested in rubber testing with ACE Laboratories? Whether testing is necessary for compliance, new product development, troubleshooting, or research, ACE is ready with the tools and knowledge to support your goals.
Click here to learn more about ACE’s rubber testing services.
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