Curing Performance of Rubber Component
Lucideon was contacted by a client, who was trying to optimize the cure profile for a fluorocarbon-based rubber part used in their products. The rubber is a two-part system consisting of a fluoroelastomer resin and a catalyst. The client wished to understand the effects of temperature and material composition on the crosslinking rate, cure time and the mechanical properties of the rubber.
The client wanted to find an appropriate testing solution that could simulate the cure profile and also determine the optimal length of cure, therefore optimizing the whole curing process to give the desired material properties.
What We Delivered
Following an extensive discussion with the client a testing method based on rheological measurements was recommended. To make sure the suggested technique provided the required data two trial tests were performed. The information obtained from initial trials was very promising and encouraged the client to proceed with the proposed testing programme. A total of twelve elastomer samples were tested and a comprehensive report, including the data, curves and results interpretation, was put together by Lucideon’s polymer consultant, Dr Xi Peng. The testing results indicated that, for all of the rubber formulations examined, the time taken to achieve an appropriate level of curing decreased significantly with the temperature rising, in the range of 20 degrees Celsius.
Value to the Client
This testing provided a quantitative assessment for the curing process and the results gave a good indication of the rheological and mechanical performance with crosslinking density of the rubber material. The client was able to apply the data Lucideon provided to their process to optimize their operations.