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Rubber Abrasion Resistance test method

Author: Released in:2019-04-18 Click:559

An abrasion test is a test used to measure the resistance of a material to wear stemming from sliding contact such as rubbing, grinding, or scraping against another material. Abrasion may be measured in a variety of ways, depending on the resistance test used and the information that is desired from the test (Dick, 2001). For example, where the amount of material lost is a concern regardless of whether the material fails, abrasion may be measured in terms of the percentage of material lost, either by mass or by volume, between the start and end of the test. Another measure sometimes used is the number of abrasion cycles a material withstands before failure. This would be more appropriate if information on how long the material or product will survive before outright failure is of primary interest.
Abrasion tests try to accelerate the process by applying more cutting-like conditions;however, this approach may not simulate actual wear. It is also important to try to match the severity of the abrasion test to the severity of the product wear conditions. For example,the severity of test conditions imparted by most abraders is usually greater than what the highway pavement may impart to a tire tread compound during normal driving. Wear resistance is an important rubber compound property related to the useful product life for tires, belts, shoe soles, rubber rolls, and sandblasting hose, among other products. A wide variety of different abrasion testers have been developed over the years in an attempt to correlate to these product wear properties. Several factors are typically considered in developing or selecting an appropriate abrasion test for the application at hand. The shape of the contact area is taken into consideration, as is the composition of the two surfaces making contact with one another. Speed of sliding contact between the two surfaces, the force with which they act on one another, and the duration of contact between them may also be considered. In addition to the materials themselves, the environment in which they are making contact also plays a role in selecting an appropriate abrasion test.

The abrasion resistance is expressed as volume loss in cubic millimetres or abrasion resistance index in percent. For volume loss, a smaller number indicates better abrasion resistance, while for the abrasion resistance index; a smaller number denotes poorer abrasion resistance. Tested compounds are usually compared on a “volume loss” basis which is calculated from the weight loss and density of the compound. Abrasion test results are known to be variable; therefore, it is important to control and standardize the abradant used in the test. Also, it is a good idea to relate test results to a standard reference vulcanizates.

ASTM D394, the Dupont Abrasion Test Method, consists of a pair of rubber test pieces pressed against a disk of a specified abrasive paper which rotates whilst a pair of moulded test pieces is continuously pressed against it either with a constant force or with a force adjusted to give a constant torque on the arm holding the test pieces. Care should be taken with soft rubber compounds because “smearing” can occur, affecting test results.

ASTM D1630 describes the rotary-platform, double-head abrader is commonly referred to as the NBS Abrader used on rubber compounds for shoe soles and heels. The NBS abrader uses rotating drums with a specified abrasive paper around them onto which the test pieces are pressed by means of levers and weights, a specified standard reference compound to be used for the calculation of an abrasive index.

ASTM D2228 describes the Pico Abrader. This unique test works on the principle of abrading the rubber surface by rotating a rubber specimen against a pair of tungsten carbide knives. A special dusting power is fed to the test piece surface, which doubtless helps to avoid stickiness. This method specifies five standard rubbers and the result also expressed as an abrasion index. Force on the test piece and speed of rotation can be varied and, presumably, different abradant geometries could be used, although the distinctive feature of the Pico is the use of blunt metal knives in the presence of a powder. ASTM D3389 refers to the Taber Abrader using a pair of abrasive wheels, a method not originally from the rubber industry.

This very general method uses two abrasive wheels against the rubber test piece (disk) attached to a rotating platform. Although the degree of slip cannot be varied; however, the force on the test piece and the nature of the abradant are very readily varied and tests can be carried out in the presence of liquid or powder lubricants. When using the usual type of abrasive wheel, a refacing procedure is carried out before each material tested.

ISO 4649 refers to the DIN Abrader, based on the German Standard. The rubber test piece with a holder is traversed a rotating cylinder covered with a sheet of the abradant paper. By allowing the sample holder to move the test piece across the drum as it rotates, there is less chance of rubber buildup on the abradant paper. This method, used extensively in Europe, is very convenient and rapid and well suited to quality control the uniformity of a specific material. The achieved test results provide important parameters in respect to the wear of rubbers in practical use. The details of procedure and expression of results are something of a compromise, being a compilation of the German approach and the British approach. Two procedures are specified, using a rotating or non-rotating test piece respectively. In principle, the abrasion should be more uniform if the test piece is rotated during test. The standard abradant is specified in terms of weight loss of a standard rubber using a nonrotating test piece and has to be run in against a steel test piece before use. Results can either be expressed as a relative volume loss with the abradant normalized relative to a standard rubber or as an abrasion index relative to a standard rubber.

British Standard BS903: Part A9 still describes the Akron Abrader. The rubber test piece is a moulded wheel which is positioned against an abrasive cylinder under constant speeds and held against the abrasive wheel by a constant force. The Akron Abrader has the advantage of allowing variation in the degree of slip in the test by varying the angle of the test piece.