The presence of ozone in the atmosphere can adversely affect many rubber products causing cracking on the surface of the material. Conducting controlled, laboratory testing of material samples against industry standards can provide product manufacturers critical information needed to make formulation decisions.

Ozone is created when sunlight acts on various pollutants in the air, such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emanating from vehicle and industrial emissions. Obviously, ozone exposure is most common in heavily populated areas with high industrial activity and can affect tires and other rubber products that see frequent external exposure. In addition, electrical fields can increase the creation of ozone when used in industrial equipment such as pumps, generators, and electrical cabinets, affecting gaskets, o-rings, and other rubber accessories.

When ozone comes in contact with rubber, the double and triple chemical bonds are attacked causing the cracking that is commonly seen on the surface of some rubber products. The most common types of rubber that are adversely affected by ozone include:
  • Natural rubber
  • Polybutadiene
  • Styrene-butadiene rubber
  • Nitrile rubber

 Our Expertise

The experts at Smithers have years of experience with industry standards for ozone testing and designing custom protocols to meet your needs. Our experienced sample prep technicians can excise samples from production samples and most whole products to simplify the process for our clients.

Common Standards

  • ASTM D1149 – Standard Test Methods for Rubber Deterioration - Cracking in an Ozone Controlled Environment
  • ASTM D1171 – Standard Test Method for Rubber Deterioration - Surface Ozone Cracking Outdoors
  • BS ISO 1431-1:2012 – Rubber, vulcanized or thermoplastic. Resistance to ozone cracking. Static 
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