There are many occasions when a rubber product just can’t fail, not least for safety purposes.

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Automotive engineering and manufacturing depend heavily on rubber. Few materials have rubber’s toughness, durability and elasticity. Nevertheless, if the component fails unexpectedly the consequences can be costly.

Rubber’s durability

The lifespan of rubber products depends on two main factors; its formulation and operating conditions. Ordinary household elastic bands rarely last five years, but at the other extreme sheet rubber roofing is good for about fifty years. When you consider the sun, rain, ice and pollution it is exposed to you appreciate the remarkable durability that rubber can provide. Old rubber tyres are even used to build offshore reefs.

Rubber’s durability is more than adequate for heavy-duty manufacturing – in fact more would be a disadvantage. In landfills rubber deteriorates in about fifty years compared to 1,000 years for plastic bags and 500 years for plastic bottles. In today’s environmentally conscious society that is a huge argument in defence of rubber. The production of natural rubber is sustainable and carbon neutral.

Getting maximum value from rubber components

Rubber injection moulding equipment produces high quality rubber products quickly and cheaply. Specialists in rubber injection moulding are also the people to approach to appraise designs and provide quality testing – both for production runs and in-service maintenance.

When rubber products succumb to chemical attrition, temperature extremes or mechanical wear it is almost always because a product with the wrong characteristics was fitted in the first place, or because conditions and issues arose later and were not addressed promptly.

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The secret of success with any product – whether you are manufacturing it or relying on it in service – is to precisely define the quality control parameters required at the outset. Temperature resistance, conductivity, chemical reactivity and so on need to be clearly known, but another often neglected parameter is its servicing requirements. How often should it be examined, tested or replaced?

If any characteristic of a critical product is unknown, you are whistling in the dark. This is just as true for producers as it is for the customers who put them into service. A call to rubber moulding specialists can ensure that rubber components always perform successfully in service, and therefore are also a success for their producers.