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What is a Durometer?

11/8/2013 7:53:53 AM | by Anonymous


The durometer is one of the several types of measures to determine the hardness of a material. They can be used in an extensive range of different applications as a gauge that can be used to check the hardness of a given material. It works by analyzing the given substance followed by assigning a number to denote the level of harness and durability of the substance. A lower digit number would indicate that it is of a softer nature for the substance whereas a higher number would indicate the product to be of a harder material that is less susceptible to cracking or bending.


Hardness is defined as a materials’ resistance to permanent indentation. The durometer was defined by Albert F. Shore who first developed the measurement device back in the 1920s. The term durometer is commonly associated with the measurement as well as the instrument itself. It is typically used for the measuring of hardness in rubbers, polymers and elastomers.


On top of just denoting the substance with a number, there is often also a hardness rating. This being the softer materials indicated by an “A” and harder materials being rated as “D”. As a result of which a substance that had an overall rating of A30 would be considered not very hard when being compared to a substance of reading D70. Readings are based on the general checks conducted on several spotsalong the surface of the material proceeded to making the cumulative rating based on the tested data.


The main use of the durometer besides being used to test the hardness of any substance is associated with measuring the hardness of either plastic or rubber products. Manufacturers will generally have a range that they would consider ideal for the types of goods that they produce. There are several scales of durometers that are used for specific materials that are made of different properties. The two most common scales use slightly different measurement systems are the ASTM D2240 type A and type D scales. As mentioned earlier, the A scale is for softer plastics whereas the D scale is for the harder ones. However, the ASTM D2240-00 testing standard calls for the total amount of 12 scales. This is dependent on the scales intended use – types A, B, C, D, DO, E, M, O, OO, OOO, OOO-S and R. Each scale will result in the value between the range of 0 to 100. The higher values would indicate a harder material.


For example, the producer that produces various types of plastic mats would probably want all of its products to meet a hardness rating of somewhere in the middle ranges. This method indicates the durability of the product with a degree of flexibility as part of the final end product. Being able to periodically test the production processes will help to ensure that the hardness of the finished products are within an acceptable range on the MOHs scale. This would result in the creation of products that are of equitable quality to one another.


Besides just plastic mats, products such as rubber wheels on roller skates are also required to be relatively hard. This is so that they will be able to hold up a lot of friction as well as wear and tear. On the other hand, a welcome mat that is being made from rubber or plastic would have to be generally softer. With the use of a durometer during the manufacturing process, it ensures the mix of materials that results in the level of hardness required. This can help the company to save a great deal of time and resources. Additionally, regular checks can quickly identify any deviation from the employed standards of the company.

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