Determining the Strength of a Product Using the Durometer

Durometer is one of several measures of the hardness of a material.  Hardness may be defined as a material’s resistance to permanent indentation and is often used as a measure of hardness in polymers, elastomers, and rubbers.

Durometer, like many other hardness tests, measures the depth of an indentation in the material created by a given force on a standardized presser foot.  The basic test requires applying the force in a consistent manner, without shock, and measuring the hardness (depth of the indentation). If a timed hardness is desired, force is applied for the required time and then read.  This depth is dependent on the hardness of the material, its viscoelastic properties, the shape of the presser foot, and the duration of the test.

When choosing rubber feet to support a machine or product, durometer is just one consideration.  Other factors to be factored in are the total number of feet (bumpers) being used; the environment (i.e. exposure to ozone, chemicals, extreme temperatures), static vs. dynamic applications, abrasion and shock.