Chemical blooms on rubber materials can indicate both a desirable as well as an undesirable characteristic of a rubber formulation. Blooms can appear on the surface of a polymer material as a haze or dust. Generally this is caused by certain raw materials migrating to the surface.

In some cases, blooming is expected and desirable for the end product’s intended use. Seals and o-rings can have a lubricant which will bloom to the surface in order to ensure that it will not stick in service. In tires, many times antidegradants are added to the formulation and bloom to the surface to assist with durability.

However, blooms may also occur when foreign matter within the compound come to the surface, adversely affecting the material’s performance. Chemical analysis can be conducted to determine what substances have bloomed to the surface of a polymeric material. 

Contact an expert to see how Smithers can support with chemical bloom analysis.

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