There are many different factors that can impact the end product in rubber production. This can include controllable factors such as temperature and humidity during processing, but it can also include changes in the compounds that occur naturally over time.
Something as simple as very slight differences in weighing the compounds and ingredients used in the specific formulation can also change the properties of the rubber after production. Through the use of a rubber rheometer the specific properties of the production run can be tested and measured, ensuring that the end product provided to customers is free from any defects or irregularities that may impact the performance of the rubber.
With most defects or irregularities in the production process or in the compounds used in rubber manufacturing, the problem is not visible. There is no change in the appearance of the product, which makes testing the only way to determine if these defects are present. This process allows the manufacturer to then trace back through the process and identify the source of the problem before it becomes a significant issue with the performance of the rubber.
Through the use of a rubber rheometer, each production run or batch of rubber produced can be quickly tested to accurately record any changes that occur during the manufacturing process.
The process is less than five minutes with the advanced testing devices used today. With a constant temperature maintained in the testing unit a small piece of rubber is exposed to strain to determine the force the rubber can withstand in a curve, rather than as a single point measurement.
There are several options when it comes to choosing a rubber rheometer. Traditionally the oscillating disk rheometer was the most commonly used, but there are also the capillary rheometer and the moving die rheometer that provide accurate measurements.
It is essential to understand that the different rheometers will provide a different type of curve, but they are correlated and can be compared if the proper calculations are used. To avoid this step, many manufacturers will use specific rheometers based on the data their customer requires. This will also be a factor if the customer will be testing the product, allowing a direct and simple comparison of the data.
Software systems now store data on the results from rheometer curves over time, allowing for continual monitoring and quality control. These systems are user-friendly and help to reduce the need for data transfer between different systems, streamlining the testing process.