Durometer is an international standard for measuring the hardness of material and can be determined using a Shore Hardness Scale and a Durometer Hardness Test.
he hardness of material is an important property that helps determine the suitability of a rubber product for its intended use. Additionally, a components’ application is critical to determining the necessary hardness. For instance, softer compounds that offer less resistance are fine for low-pressure seals where the material must conform to rough or uneven surfaces. Harder materials would be more appropriate for high-pressure seals.
Shore Hardness Scales measures the hardness of different materials. These scales establish a common point of reference for comparing materials, with durometer being bucketed into three Shore categories on a hardness scale from 0 to 100:
- 00 – Measures light foams, sponge rubber and gels that are very soft
- A – Measures soft rubber, plastics, and rubber-like elastomers
- D – Measures hard rubber, plastics, and thermoplastics
The image below shows examples of different materials and what Shore hardness category they fall into. Note: It is possible for materials to fall into more than one category.
In the case of rubber, a durometer is also defined by its relative resistance, or its ability to deflect the depth of indentation made by an indenter. The illustration below shows the difference between a Shore A material and a Shore D material.
Now you can see why knowing the rubber product’s intended use helps to ensure the proper material compound is selected. Not sure what your application requires? Give us a call and our gasket specialists will be happy to assist.