Helping you to evaluate the long-term performance of your materials 

Understanding the long-term performance properties of a material helps manufacturers and designers make safe and effective material choices for their product or component. Testing enables you to determine the long-term durability and environmental resistance of rubber and plastic materials.

Smithers offers consultative support and can devise bespoke testing programmes tailored to your project’s requirements. We test to various national and international standards, along with client specifications and across a range of industry sectors.

Prediction of expected product life time

Smithers can help you identify weaknesses and initiate product improvements at early prototype stages of design, prior to mass manufacture. If a material is found to be unsuitable, we can help you select an appropriate material based on the expected end-use conditions. 

Our facilities can simulate either single or multiple environmental conditions simultaneously and we have sample preparation facilities, allowing us to form test specimens from most material states. Our laboratories are UKAS accredited to ISO 17025.

Accelerated Aging of Rubber and Plastics

Accelerated aging can be a highly effective method of predicting lifetime performance, but due to the complicated nature of polymer and elastomer behavior it requires expert guidance in order to achieve reliable data.
Our experts can advise on:
  • If accelerated aging is feasible for your product, component, or material
  • The appropriate test strategy required
Our in-house testing facilities are equipped for heat, light and fatigue accelerated testing.

Materials tested include

  • Plastics – ABS, Acetal, PMMA, PVC, EVA, LDPE, HDPE, PP, Nylons, PET, PBT, Polycarbonate, PEEK, PVDF, PTFE, TPUs
  • Rubber – Natural, EPDM, SBR, Butyl, Vitons, Silicones 
  • Variety of test pieces and components
  • Laminates
  • Pipes and fitting

Industries served include

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Marine
  • Life science
  • Oil and gas
Specific support for the medical devices and products
For products or materials which require sterilization, our experts can provide consultative support throughout product development; from material selection to decisions on sterilising process.

Support includes

  • Prediction of expected life of plastic
    • Fundamental properties of plastics
    • Creep strain
    • Creep rupture
    • Fatigue of plastics (tensile or flexural)
    • Environmental stress cracking (ESC)
    • Bespoke programme design
    • Burst hydrostatic
    • Using water or oil based fluids up to 2,000 bar
  • Stress relaxation of rubbers
    • Environmental resistance of assemblies and components
    • Environmental testing
    • Resistance to weathering or UV aging
    • Resistance to ozone cracking (static)
    • Resistance to air / heat
    • Resistance to humidity
    • Resistance to high pressure fluids
  • Design to prevent failures and FMEA Plastics
  • Life prediction and ageing studies (Such as Arrhenius and William Landel Ferry modelling)
  • Mechanical and physical properties
  • Custom built rigs for individual test specimens

Find out more about our other polymer testing capabilities.

Download a brochure for more information:

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Polymer Life Prediction and Aging

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