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What is a Durometer?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 23, 2024
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As a gauge that can be used to check the hardness of a given material, the durometer can be used in a number of different applications. It functions by analyzing a given substance, and then assigning it a number to denote the level of harness and durability. A lower number would indicate a softer nature for the substance, while a higher number would indicate the product is harder and less susceptible to bending or cracking.

Along with the number, there is also often a hardness rating, with softer materials being indicated by an “A” and harder being rated as “D.” As a result, a substance that had an overall rating of A30 would be considered not very hard, compared to a substance with a reading of D70. Readings are generally based on checking several spots along the surface of the material and then making a cumulative rating based on the data.

While a durometer can technically be used to test the hardness of just about any substance, the main uses of the device are associated with measuring the hardness of rubber or plastic products. Generally, manufactures will have a range that they consider ideal for the type of goods they produce.

For instance, the producer of various types of plastic mats would perhaps want all its products to have a hardness rating of somewhere in the middle range. This method would indicate durability but with a degree of flexibility as part of the final product. Being able to periodically test the production process will help to keep the hardness of the finished products within an acceptable range on the Mohs scale, resulting in products that are of equitable quality to one another.

Along with plastic mats, products like the rubber wheels on roller skates are required to be relatively hard, so that they will hold up to a lot of wear and tear. On the other hand, a welcome mat made from rubber or plastic would need to be softer. Using a durometer during the manufacturing process to ensure the mix of materials results in the level of hardness required can save a company a great deal of time and resources. Regular checks will quickly identify any deviation from the standards employed by the company.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including InfoBloom, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments
By anon77885 — On Apr 15, 2010

The site is very helpful to me but I want to learn more about latest knowledge about printing technology.

By zammacorp — On Dec 17, 2008

I need to find a Durometer to test wood (MDF) how do i know what Durometer to buy?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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