Introduction to Rubber Technology

Shropshire, UK


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Course overview

This course will show you how material selection, compounding and processing influence end product properties. It provides a sound introduction to rubber materials and their properties. It covers the fundamental aspects of rubber technology from material selection, compounding, vulcanisation, processing (conversion of raw materials into finished products), through to mechanical properties, environmental resistance, testing and specifications, evaluation of product failure and finally interactive case study exercises. 

Gain CPD credits

Smithers is an IOM3 Quality Assured training provider and our courses are approved towards professional development.

Learning outcomes

You will be able to:
  • Ask the appropriate questions of suppliers, processors and end-users.
  • Assess material specifications for suitability to an application.
  • Estimate how differences in service environment may affect product performance.
  • Have an appreciation of the range of elastomers and their uses and limitations
This will enable participating companies to:
  • Liaise more effectively with suppliers and customer companies.
  • Identify effective quality control procedures for materials and products.
  • Look more effectively at optimising in-house processing methods.
  • Identify areas of investigation for further product development programmes.
  • Evaluate R&D, production and purchasing activities to identify potential savings and guard against in-service failure.
  • Gain in-house skills that can be directed to developing products more competitively.

Course content

History of Rubber 
  • A brief synopsis of events in the history of rubber.
Rubber Types, Selection and Properties​
  • An explanation of what a rubber is and the range of rubber types available.
  • How the chemical structure of natural and synthetic rubbers dictates their properties and ultimate selection.
Compounding and Vulcanisation 
  • How elastomers are formulated to produce compounds
  • The types, levels and functions of the main additives, including curatives in generic components and how these can influence performance
  • What the process of vulcanisation entails and its importance in achieving consistent product performance and what the effects can be if it is not optimised
  • The processes involved in converting the raw materials into finished products including mixing technology, extrusion, moulding and other processes. The Processes are described and the important central parameters highlighted.
Environmental and Chemical Resistance 
  • Environmental factors that can cause degradation of rubber compounds
  • The effects that heat and chemicals have on the polymer network and finished propertie
  • Methods of protection
Recycling and Re-use of Waste Rubber 
  • An overview of recycling rubber and the waste rubber market. A review of the various techniques and technologies that have been developed for recycling and re-using waste rubber and a summary of the many products that can be manufactured from recycled rubber
Key Mechanical Properties 
  • An appreciation of the static and dynamic behaviour of elastomers and the influence of service parameters such as temperature, strain rates and environment, viscoelasticity is described and its consequences on product performance examined.
Case Studies 
  • Syndicate sessions relating to material selection and design problems help to reinforce the core topics and create opportunity for discussion and debate.
Further Notes
  • All of the lectures are covered by comprehensive notes and these also include additional notes on subjects such as physical testing.

Who will benefit

  • Anyone who needs a fundamental knowledge of rubber materials, for example:
  • Staff working in the rubber industry (e.g. for companies which mould rubber products or material suppliers) both newcomers and those who have no formal training.
  • Anyone from companies whose core business activities are outside the rubber industry, i.e. downstream users of rubber materials and components, who need an appreciation of rubber materials and how they are formed to be able to communicate confidently with their suppliers.  

Presenter information

What our delegates say

"World class"
Richard Andrews (SEP)

"Very well worth it, excellent way of gaining a background knowledge of rubber technology"
Micah Vorster (Berwin PPG)

"Very happy I attended the course, wish I had done it years ago"
Darren Shire (Innospec)

Questions and queries

Please contact:

Introduction to Rubber Technology

Length 2 days