Environmental:Not only does rubber have to stay flexibl […]
Environmental:Not only does rubber have to stay flexible for thousands of cycles and possibly withstand corrosive chemicals, but it may also be required to perform in temperature extremes. A good example of this is a car sitting out in a Minnesota winter: during the night, the sealing O-Rings in its engine will be subjected to freezing temperatures. The O-Rings need to seal just as well when that cold engine first starts as they do when the engine reaches its peak temperature.
Chemical:Rubber is often required to withstand a variety of chemicals. For applications in motors or generators, it must be resistant to gasoline and oils. Some industrial equipment will see a variety of harsh fluids such as cleaning solvents, acids or alkalis. Rubber tubes can have any number of harsh fluids pumped through them. Without proper formulation, a rubber compound could literally dissolve or crumble when faced with these corrosive elements.
Dynamic:The one factor that distinguishes rubber from other materials is the very large deformations that it can endure in its applications. Rubber must maintain its properties through a lifetime of dynamic stressing. Rubber needs to be resilient enough to perform its function even after being compressed, stretched or twisted thousands, or even millions of times.