Our Rubber Design Process

Our Capabilities

Our Design Process

At DLRT, we work in close collaboration with clients to understand their needs. We support all stages of your project, from initial design & material selection, through to prototype testing, manufacturing & production.

Informed by decades of experience in materials technology, our polymer design engineers generate effective and efficient solutions. We utilise the best available rubber design tools for rubber moulding and have acquired the Baulé computer-controlled mixing and dispensing machine, enabling us to extend our range of polyurethane materials. Our rubber moulding and casting design projects are also aided by FEA modelling and 3D CAD software.

We base our material selection on expert recommendations. The aim here is to improve the overall service life performance to reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs. It is our firm belief that forming a partnership between our rubber design team and our client’s team is integral to the success of any project.

 This helps us to understand the needs of your application thoroughly. We’re also happy to share our polymer design knowledge and how DLR products form essential parts of specialised equipment.

If you have any further questions regarding our design process, check out our FAQ section below.

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Rubber Design Process FAQs

ARE PLASTICS, POLYMERS, RUBBERS AND ELASTOMERS ALL THE SAME?

Yes, plastics are polymers. Rubbers, elastomers are polymers. Plastics and rubbers are two different sets of polymers.

A polymer is a material with a long chain molecular structure, rather like spaghetti. These long chains are formed in reactors that polymerise or put together small units called monomers. 

 

Polymers can be divided into two main groups - thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermosets are rubbers often used to make tyres, shoe soles and car door seals, just to name a few applications.

Thermoplastics are divided into two categories - semi-crystalline and amorphous. In general, amorphous polymers will scatter light and can be water clear. Depending on the polymer design, crystalline polymers can be translucent or opaque and find use in many household goods. 

TPE, TPV and TPR are materials with elastic properties. These have a rubbery feel, and like all thermoplastics, can be recycled, reused and reformed into other products. 

CAN RUBBER BE MADE IN ANY OTHER COLOUR THAN BLACK?

Yes! All rubbers and elastic materials are available in a range of colours. Depending on the application, we can recommend specific polymers that will retain their colour in service. Some polymers may discolour and fade under the influence of UV and artificial light. 

Carbon black is black in colour and widely used as a reinforcing filler. This type of polymer design is cost-effective and efficient, providing the correct balance of physical properties required for any given application.

Non-black mineral fillers such as silicates, silicas, clays and calcium carbonates can produce different coloured rubbers. Our rubber design tools enable us to compound and produce non-black rubber parts.

WHAT IS THE HARDNESS OF RUBBER, AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The hardness of a rubber product defines its physical properties and its application to a large extent. It is the most fundamental property, along with density and specific gravity. Polymer hardness defines how much the rubber can be deformed without being damaged. In technical terms hardness is a synonym for modulus, the stress at a given strain - this defines the stiffness of the material.

High hardness equates to a stiffer material, low flexibility, and a higher tensile strength that is more resistant to abrasion. Conversely, lower hardness or softer materials equate to a less rigid (or low modulus) material. This can give your polymer design greater low-temperature flexibility, high tensile strength and abrasion resistance. 

As a general rule, a lower density indicates a rubber rich compound, meaning better quality. Higher densities are typically achieved by adding low-cost fillers.

Develop

When it comes to the rubber development stage, DLR aims to imprint their engineering and materials science knowledge and expertise on every rubber production solution.

Manufacture

Through many years of research and development, our design processes have been streamlined to result in the successful and economical rubber manufacturing services for which we are well known.

Get in touch

If you want to learn more about our products and services, or looking for advice, our team are happy to help you. Send us your enquiry using the form below, or email us by contacting technical@elastomer.co.uk

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    DLR Elastomer is a leading manufacturer of bespoke elastomeric products & components for high performance industrial & engineering applications.