Era Polymers Testing Equipment

Era Polymers physical testing laboratory is NATA accredited to the following scope of accreditation. Our laboratories are constantly expanding the horizons of polyurethane chemistry. We have the most advanced polyurethane laboratories in the country, serviced by over 15 of Australia’s leading polyurethane industrial chemists. Our laboratories are equipped with state of the art equipment to carry a variety of testing procedures detailed below.

Testing available:

Abrasion

Taber Method

This test is used to perform accelerated wear testing and is capable of providing reliable data in a matter of minutes compared to years that could be required for in-use testing.

Din Method

The DIN Method another test used for the simulation of long term wear involves abrading a plug of material across a rotating drum of abrasive paper, whilst a constant force keeps the plug down. Tests performed in accordance to ASTM D5963 / ISO4649 / DIN 53516.

Coating Dry Time Recorder

Test Method

This is used to measure the cure time of thin coatings. The method involves smearing a coating sample over a test piece, which is then subjected to a needle test to determine the length of time required for the sample to go through different phases of curing.

Closed Cell Content

Test Method

Polyurethane foams are made up of millions of cells or bubbles. Flexible foams need the cells largely open to allow the foam to breathe when compressed, as in cushion foams. Rigid insulation or buoyancy foams, require more closed cells to keep in the valuable insulation gases, or keep water out in the case of buoyancy foam.

Coefficient of Friction Tester

Test Method

This equipment is used to measure both static and kinetic friction.Cast elastomers can be modified to show different levels of friction. Eg: A urethane wheel must have more grip levels than a sliding abrasion mining screen.

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

DMA 8000

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis, otherwise known as DMA, is a technique where a small deformation is applied to a sample in a cyclic manner. This allows the materials response to stress, temperature, frequency and other values to be studied. The term is also used to refer to the analyzer that performs the test. DMA is also called DMTA for Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis.

Used for the characterization of materials’ bulk properties such as modulus, compliance and damping (tan delta). It measures changes of viscoelastic behavior under dynamic conditions as a function of temperature, time, frequency, stress, atmosphere or a combination of these parameters.

Benefits include:

  • Unparalleled sampling flexibility
  • Rotating head for ease of use
  • Efficient and low cost cooling
  • TMA capability
  • Integration of a fluid bath for immersion
  • Expandable to include humidity studies
  • Optical window for UV/Light curing
  • Material pockets for powder samples

Density

Test Method

For density measurement using Archimede’s principle.

DSC – Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Test Method

DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry) is a thermoanalytical technique assessing the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a sample.Our equipment is able to analyse solid samples for specific heat related properties. These include glass transition temperatures (Tg), melting temperatures (Tm), oxidation times, crystallization states and cross linking determination.

Dynamic Wheel Testing / Loaded Wheel Tester (LWT)

Test Method

This machine applies specific load, speed and therefore kinetic and frictional forces to a wheel, allowing us to determine how the elastomer will perform under stressful conditions.

Electrical Resistivity

Test Method

This test is used to determine the electrical resistance of polyurethanes, which need to conform to particular requirements for applications such as underground mining use.

Flash Point Tester

Test Method

This machine measures the temperature at which point a liquid raw material “flashes” when exposed to a naked flame.Each country has different regulations on what an accepted flash point level is before the product must be marked as FLAMMABLE for transport.

Flex Tester

Test Method

This machine is designed to repeatedly flex and relax a strip sample of elastomer over many thousands of cycles. The samples are tested to destruction, which can sometimes mean many weeks or months of continual testing.

Foam Profiling

Test Method

The equipment intimately profiles polyurethane foam from the point it is mixed through to its full cure. It accurately plots properties such as Rise Profile, Reaction Temperature, Pressure Exerted, % of cure reached, rise height, and shrinkage.

FTIR – Fourier Transform Infrared Analysis

Test Method

FTIR Analysis is able to look at any material and confirm the wavelength of chemical groups present. On a practical level, it assists in confirming the chemical backbones of solid pieces of elastomer. This is useful when processors want to replace an elastomer piece made many years ago, when they can’t recall what chemical backbone they used originally to produce the part.

Hardness (Shore A and D scale)

Test Method

One of the easiest ways of categorizing polymers is through hardness. The equipment used to test this is known as a Durometer which indents the sample with a needle. The amount of indentation move then reflects the hardness of the sample. The most common scales used for hardness are Shore A for most elastomers and Shore D for high hardness elastomers. Soft gels and foams can be measured on the Shore 00 scale.

Impact Resistance

Test Method

This IZOD Impact Tester is designed to determine if a material meets specific impact properties, or to compare materials for general toughness. A swinging pendulum applies a constant force and impact to a sample, with the breaking force or resistance to braking being measured accurately.

Insulation Testing

Test Method

The equipment for this test is often referred to as the “k-factor” machine as it measures the constant k-factor, or thermal conductivity, in accordance to ASTM C518.The k-factor is a measure of the insulation performance of foam. From this factor, it is able to calculate the R-value, or thermal resistance, of a product over a known sample thickness.

Micrometer

Test Method

Many of the tests and calculations used on the Tensile Strength machine, rely accurately on the cross sectional area and thickness of the prepared sample, this is measured electronically using the micrometer.

QUV Weatherometer

Test Method

The QUV Weatherometer is an instrument which can expose samples to constant cycles of high level UV exposure and water spray. Samples are often tested continuously for months to replicate outdoor conditions then checked for any deterioration, providing a weather wear performance analysis.

Resilience

Resilience (Elastomers)

Elastomers can be formulated with high resilience; for applications which require high rebound, or with low resilience for applications requiring a dampened polymer. This machine confirms accurately the rebound resilience of a cast sample of elastomer.

Resilience (Foams)

Similar to the rebound test above but for flexible foam products, an ideal test for assessing the resilience of seating cushion foam.

Tensile, Elongation, Compressive Strength, Adhesion

Test Method

Era Polymers have two Instron machines capable of testing for multiple properties. These include; tensile strength, elongation, adhesion, flexure, peel strength, shear testing and compression testing.

XRF / X-Ray Fluorescence

Test Method

XRF/X-Ray Fluorescence is able to analyse solid samples of many elastomers for qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of the curative amounts used. On a practical level, it is most commonly used to check the MOCA or Ethacure 300 contents used in solid pieces of elastomer.