Low Temperature Behaviour and Cold Flexibility

Significance and Test Method

At low temperatures, elastomers gradually lose their outstanding property, the elasticity. In most applications, however, rubber elasticity and resilience are of decisive importance for the functional efficiency of the components.

Suppliers describe the low-temperature behaviour of elastomer materials in a confusing number of different test methods or, in some cases, only very vaguely and not reliably. The materials are folded, compressed or stretched, relaxed, frozen and thawed at low temperatures. Many different methods are used in order to find out the low-temperature behaviour of the rubber materials.

When it comes to assessing the low-temperature limits of elastomers in a realistic and, above all, comparable way, it is necessary to evaluate the materials using meaningful test methods. The most helpful methods are the TR10 method, the compression set at low temperatures and the DSC value.

We use all these testing methods at our Elastomer Institute. You will find more details on the test methods under the links provided.

We also provide more in-depth information on this topic in our seminars “O-ring seals – design, application and limits of use”, “Testing of elastomer seals” and “Elastomer materials and seals” and in the online training “Low-temperature limits of elastomers”.