Rubber fatigue testing simplified with Martins Rubber
In this informative article, PIF spoke with rubber engineering specialists Martins Rubber about the importance of regular fatigue testing for your rubber components. For industries which regularly operate under extreme conditions, there are hundreds of factors which encourage failure of rubber components. Read on as we explore how these industries can prevent rubber fatigue and minimalise effects before it becomes dangerous.
What is rubber fatigue?
Rubber fatigue is the material wear and subsequent breakdown of rubber components. This will eventually result in weaker rubber components which are less effective at performing their required functions. As such, this can lead to potentially catastrophic consequences for the process industry. For example, rubber fatigue could impair the efficiency of running plant machinery. This can result in anything from costly downtime or halting productivity, to even possible injury of onsite staff. Therefore, it is highly important that any signs of rubber fatigue and spotted and resolves as quickly as possible.
How to identify rubber fatigue?
“Many things can influence rubber fatigue, but environmental influences are the main culprit”, explains Claire Clarke of Martins Rubber. “If exposed to temperatures that rapidly increase from zero to 100°c, fatigue life can drop drastically in rubber components. Electrical charges can also eventually wear down the strength and usability of rubber, which can be a problem in electrical applications”.
In addition to environmental influences, Oxygen can also be a contributing factor for rubber fatigue. “As Oxygen encourages rubber’s fatigue crack rate, components can become brittle and useless which thereby renders them ineffective” continues Claire.
Fatigue machine testing explained
With this in mind, it’s important to avoid any instances of rubber fatigue in the first place. This can be achieved via fatigue machine testing. “A fatigue testing machine attempts to demonstrate and replace the weight that would be applied to the rubber in question, along with replicating the desired industry environment and application”, says Claire. “Fatigue machine testing works to strain the rubber, resulting in crack growth and crack nucleation. Fatigue testing machines are designed to be highly accurate so that you know exactly how your rubber component will perform before purchasing it”.
By using fatigue testing machines, this could provide substantial savings which would otherwise be spent on regularly replacing rubber components. Fatigue testing also enables work-flow to run smoothly without unforeseen errors, which results in avoiding costly downtime and maintenance fees.
Expert component fatigue testing with Martins Rubber
Rubber fatigue testing is essential for industries which habitually encounter extreme conditions. For this reason, Martins Rubber takes fatigue testing very seriously when it comes to their rubber components. As a leading UK rubber component manufacturer, Martins Rubber utilises their own in-house rubber fatigue testing facilities to carry out of various types of testing. They pride themselves on manufacturing the highest quality of rubber components and sealants, thoroughly testing everything before it reaches their customers. Visit Martins Rubber website to learn more about their rubber fatigue testing services.
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