Hardness Measurement and Specifications: 

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SHORE Hardness: Note, on the table below Durometer A and 
Durometer D is the same as Shore A and Shore D. 

The shore scleroscope measures hardness in terms of the elasticity of the material. A diamond-tipped hammer in a graduated glass tube is allowed to fall from a known height on the specimen to be tested, and the hardness number depends on the height to which the hammer rebounds; the harder the material, the higher the rebound.

Shore hardness is a measure of the resistance of material to indentation by 3 spring-loaded indenter. The higher the number, the greater the resistance.

The hardness testing of plastics is most commonly measured by the Shore (Durometer) test or Rockwell hardness test. Both methods measure the resistance of the plastic toward indentation. Both scales provide an empirical hardness value that doesn't correlate to other properties or fundamental characteristics. Shore Hardness, using either the Shore A or Shore D scale, is the preferred method for rubbers/elastomers and is also commonly used for 'softer' plastics such as polyolefins, fluoropolymers, and vinyls. The Shore A scale is used for 'softer' rubbers while the Shore D scale is used for 'harder' ones. The shore A Hardness is the relative hardness of elastic materials such as rubber or soft plastics can be determined with an instrument called a Shore A durometer. If the indenter completely penetrates the sample, a reading of 0 is obtained, and if no penetration occurs, a reading of 100 results. The reading is dimensionless.

The Shore hardness is measured with an apparatus known as a Durometer and consequently is also known as 'Durometer hardness'. The hardness value is determined by the penetration of the Durometer indenter foot into the sample. Because of the resilience of rubbers and plastics, the hardness reading my change over time - so the indentation time is sometimes reported along with the hardness number. The ASTM test number is ASTM D2240 while the analogous ISO test method is ISO 868.

The results obtained from this test are a useful measure of relative resistance to indentation of various grades of polymers. However, the Shore Durometer hardness test does not serve well as a predictor of other properties such as strength or resistance to scratches, abrasion, or wear, and should not be used alone for product design specifications.


For more detailed information on hardness please go to:

Images and text gleaned from CALCE University of Maryland. 

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