Rubber analysis and elastomers characterization in laboratory

Your needs : to realise elastomer testing and rubber testing

What is an elastomer ?

An elastomer, commonly known as called rubber is a polymer with elastic properties which allow it to withstand several distortions before breaking. Elastomers can occur in nature or they can also be synthetic or derived from petroleum.

Elastomers play a key role in the tire industry. More than half of worldwide production of elastomers is used by this sector of industry. Elastomers are also used in other fields to make joints and piping and are often used in association with other materials such as textiles, metals or plastics.

Why carry out analysis on elastomers ?

The analysis and the study of polymer-based materials and elastomers is a key step of manufacturing processes : chemical analysis and characterization services are used to control the lifecycle of a product and to reduce the risk of defects appearing.

Elastomer characterization and chemical analysis can have multiple goals :

– To identify the composition of an elastomer or a product containing an elastomer

– To verify that a product complies with relevant standards

– To characterize a defect

– To improve a curing procedure

 The support and the expertise of an analytical laboratory ensures the reliability of results and assistance in the choice of elastomer materials.

FILAB analyze the chemical makeup of elastomer-based products

Our services : elastomer testing ans rubber testing

By combining analytical tools and techniques adapted for elastomer analysis and characterization, FILAB laboratory assists industrialists in optimizing their manufacturing processes, in finding substitutions for different materials and in resolving various problems caused by defects or pollutants.

To realise the characterization of elastomers and rubbers, FILAB laboratory has a wide variety of analytical techniques :

o   FTIR to determine the elastomer’s composition

o   DSC  to measure melting and degradation temperatures and to measure crystallinity

o   GC-MS and Py-GCMS to quantify additives, residual monomers, bisphenol A, phthalates…

o   ICP to identify mineral fillers (Talc, silica…)

o   SEM-EDX to characterize particulates or deposits

The positive aspects of FILAB

  • A highly qualified team

  • Responsiveness in responding to and processing requests

  • A complete analytical park of 2100m²

  • Tailor-made support

Rubber analysis can be performed using a variety of specialized instruments and machines. Filab has a large rubber testing lab with state-of-the-art equipment for this type of analysis. Among the analysis machines we can find :

  1. Tensile testing machine: A tensile testing machine measures the force required to stretch a rubber sample to a specified point, and is used to determine properties such as tensile strength, elongation, and modulus of elasticity.

  2. Compression testing machine: A compression testing machine measures the force required to compress a rubber sample to a specified point, and is used to determine properties such as compression set and stress relaxation.

  3. Dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA): A DMA measures the stiffness and damping properties of rubber over a range of temperatures and frequencies, providing information on viscoelastic behavior and fatigue life.

  4. Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC): A DSC measures the heat flow associated with thermal transitions in a rubber sample, such as melting or glass transition, providing information on thermal stability and thermal properties.

  5. Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR): An FTIR measures the absorption of infrared radiation by a rubber sample, providing information on chemical composition and identifying functional groups present in the rubber.

  6. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS): A GC-MS separates and identifies individual components in a complex rubber sample, providing information on the types and amounts of additives or impurities present.

  7. Scanning electron microscope (SEM): An SEM provides high-resolution imaging of surfaces and microstructures of rubber samples, revealing details such as surface roughness or the distribution of fillers.

These are just a few examples of the machines that may be used for rubber analysis, and the specific equipment used will depend on the type of analysis being performed and the properties of the rubber sample.

The purpose of rubber failure analysis is to investigate the causes of failure in rubber parts or products. When a rubber component fails prematurely, it can be costly and potentially dangerous, so it is important to understand why the failure occurred and how it can be prevented in the future.

Rubber failure analysis typically involves a multi-step process that includes:

  1. Visual inspection: The failed rubber component is examined to identify any visible signs of damage or wear, such as cracks, tears, or deformation.
  2. Material characterization: The rubber material is analyzed to determine its composition, properties, and any additives or fillers present.
  3. Analytical testing: A range of analytical testing methods may be used to investigate the failure, such as tensile testing, compression testing, spectroscopy, microscopy, or thermal analysis.
  4. Root cause analysis: Based on the results of the visual inspection and analytical testing, the likely cause of the failure is identified, such as material defects, manufacturing issues, or environmental factors.
  5. Recommendations for improvement: Based on the root cause analysis, recommendations are made for how to prevent similar failures from occurring in the future, such as changes to the material formulation, manufacturing processes, or product design.

Rubber failure analysis allows us to identify the root cause of the failure and provide recommendations for preventing future failures. This can help to improve the safety, reliability, and performance of rubber components and products in a wide range of industries, from automotive and aerospace to medical devices and consumer goods.

Filab holds accreditation to ISO 17025:2017 through the French Accreditation Committee (COFRAC) for several types of testing of rubber materials. This is an international standard for testing and calibration laboratories, which specifies the general requirements for the competence, impartiality, and consistent operation of laboratories. This accreditation demonstrates that Filab has been independently evaluated and found to have the technical competence and resources to perform specific types of testing according to international standards.

The origin of rubber chemical analysis can be traced back to the early 19th century, when natural rubber was first discovered and began to be used for a wide range of products. As demand for rubber grew, researchers and scientists began to study the properties and composition of rubber in order to improve its performance and develop new applications.


In the mid-1800s, chemical analysis techniques such as microscopy and spectroscopy began to be applied to the study of rubber. By the late 1800s, researchers were using chemical methods to identify and quantify individual components in rubber, such as resins and waxes, and to investigate the structural properties of rubber molecules.


The development of synthetic rubber in the early 20th century further expanded the need for chemical analysis techniques, as scientists sought to understand the properties and behavior of these new materials. In the decades that followed, advances in analytical instrumentation and computer technology enabled increasingly sophisticated chemical analysis techniques to be applied to rubber and other materials.


Today, chemical analysis of rubber is a critical part of the rubber industry, allowing manufacturers to optimize their products for specific applications, ensure quality control, and investigate failures or defects in rubber products.


Thomas GAUTIER Head of Materials Department
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