Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Know-how related to the prediction of functional life of elastomeric components

Testing methods were developed for characterisation of rubber materials including elasticity, softening/recovery and fatigue performance. They are mainly focused on mechanical properties determination and feeding constitutive and life prediction models for elastomers. They account for dependency of material properties on several functional aspects like temperature, ageing and strain rate.

The effect on physical properties related to microstructure from processing like state-of-mix, molecular-orientation and memory-interfaces, was determined and their relative importance established. Fatigue testing of various materials, accounting for processing and thermal effects, has shown the important aspects of material response determining component life.

A working procedure for F.E. characterization of rubber materials as well as its limitations were established focused on determination of appropriate numerical models for simulating rubber-components. Material models developed to represent fatigue properties can be used with appropriate functional analysis to predict component life. Sometimes, a fracture mechanics approach is required. In others, a local strain based approach is sufficient.

This know-how can be exploited by rubber-component-manufacturers and polymer-processors to improve manufacturing processes. Ability to exploit these methods depends on companies being aware of the results of the project and the potential application in their field. For this, there should be targeted dissemination of the relevant information to companies.

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