Life Test based on Arrhenius

Significance and Test Method

The service life of elastomers is significantly limited by ageing processes, which are often triggered and accelerated by the influence of heat and oxygen.

The effect of temperature on the service life of rubber products can be described very well using the so-called Arrhenius equation and represented in the form of an (Arrhenius) straight line.

Extensive service life tests at three to five different temperatures for up to 5000 hours form the basis of such evaluations. Prior to the tests, lifetime-relevant properties must be defined, e.g. the compression set or the relative change in tensile strength, in order to form a realistic lifetime criterion.

We regularly perform such tests at our Elastomer Institute.

You can find detailed information on the subject of service life and service life tests based on Arrhenius in our technical reports. We also cover this topic in detail in our seminar “O-ring seals – design, application and limits of use” and in the online training “High-temperature limits and service life of elastomer components”.


In order to be able to make supplier-independent statements on the possible service life of standard NBR O-rings, which also include typical batch and production-related variances, the O-Ring Test Laboratory Richter carried out and evaluated long-term tests on NBR O-rings over a period of 2 years. During these tests, we gained important insights into the influence of temperature, cord thickness and material formulation.