Abrasion Resistance Tesing

ASTM D3389 and ASTM D5963

Abrasion testing, also called material wear testing, is a great predictive tool that is used to determine the wear characteristics of materials and potential impacts to overall performance in end application. A variety of laboratory instruments can be used to recreate different types of abrasion that a given material or product may encounter in its service environment. Abrasion testing can help manufacturers predict how well a product or material will hold up against abrasion over time and what to expect in terms of wear patterns and timeline.

The applications for abrasion resistance testing are incredibly vast, ranging from the intense abrasion of a rigorous industrial setting as well as everyday wear for products such as shoes and flooring. Common examples include:

  • Tires. This type of testing may also be called tread wear testing.
  • Conveyor belts.
  • Hoses, such as automotive and industrial hoses. These hoses are often fitted into tight quarters and intense conditions, including heat and vibration. Abrasion resistance testing is an excellent method for predicting the durability of the hose material while in service.
  • Footwear.
  • Flooring and floor coverings.
  • Coated fabrics.

Abrasion testing can also be conducted on prepared samples of rubber materials for research and development (R&D) purposes.


There are many abrasion testing protocols available for general and specialized applications. Two common examples are ASTM D5963 and ASTM D3389.


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

ASTM D5963 is an abrasion resistance testing method that evaluates frictional and abrasion wear of rubber materials with a rotary drum abrader. The rotating drum of the abrader is outfitted with an abrasive sheet, and prepared samples of rubber material are moved across the drum to conduct the test. The contact pressure, sliding distance, and travel speed of the test piece, the rotational speed of the drum, and degree of abrasiveness of the abrasive sheet are all specified by ASTM D5963. Each sample is weighed before and after testing to determine how much mass is lost. Both comparative analysis and reference analysis can be used to benchmark the results.

There are a few limitations to ASTM D5963. ASTM D5963 is meant for materials that can maintain smooth contact with the abrasive sheet during testing. If the material bounces or chatters against the rotating drum, it’s best to consider another method. Additionally, this method is not suitable for porous materials or any material soft enough to smear the abrasive sheeting.


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

ASTM D3389 is an abrasion testing method that uses a rotary turntable to test the abrasion resistance of fabrics with a rubber or plastic coating. The spec describes two different methods: an abrasion to end point method and abrasion for a specified number of cycles. In both cases, the weight and volume of each sample is captured before and after testing to benchmark weight and volume loss caused by controlled exposure to abrasion. Depth of wear is also measured. Depending on the method, the number of test cycles may also be reported.



The experts at ACE are well versed in a wide variety of abrasion resistance and material wear testing methods, leveraging different types of abrasion testing apparatuses. We have experience conducting abrasion testing for commercial and industrial products alike and can support you no matter what industry you’re in. Whether you’re developing new materials or seeking to validate a product before launch, you can count on ACE for both standard abrasion testing services and custom testing protocol development to support your business goals. ACE is proud to promise the fastest turnaround times in the industry, so you can keep your projects on track and make confident, timely decisions based on efficient, accurate data.


To learn more about abrasion testing from ACE, talk to a member of our team >


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