Course module in 2013: 191156500
Credits (ECTS) 5
Course type Lecture and practical
Language of instruction English
Contact person prof. Dr. Anke Blume
Lecturer(s) prof. Dr. A. Blume
dr. W. Dierkes

Starting block 2A (continues in 2B)

Study material: B. Rodgers (ed.): Rubber Compounding; Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, Basel (2004); Lecture notes: "Elastomeric Technology" 115650, nr. 799


Oral exam and written report


Define performance criteria for rubber (as part of the broader polymer technology) articles and translate these into the design and production of compounds and articles with the specific visco-elastic or rubber-elastic material behaviour of elastomers.


Explain / describe in general terms, the development of rubber compounds for different application 
requirements, to include:

  1. A global overview of the rubber industry, its history and present status, including main applications: 
    tires, hoses, profiles, seals, vibration dampers, etc. 5%
  2. Theoretical description of cooperative contribution of individual polymer molecules, crosslinked into a rubber network, on macroscopic material properties: polymer models for rubber-elasticity, neo-Hookean and Mooney-Rivlin theories. 20%
  3. The main rubber polymer types being used with respect to their different performance vis-à-vis the main application requirements. 15%
  4. The importance and effect of reinforcement: the nanoscopic phenomena, as they translate into 
    macroscopic properties.20%
  5. The main ways to crosslink (vulcanize) rubbers.10%
  6. A basic understanding of Mixing Theory, as applied in second instance to rubber mixing: two-roll mills and internal batch mixers.10%
  7. A basic understanding of subsequent processing techniques to include: extrusion, calandering, moulding and vulcanisation.10% 
  8. Main techniques for (macroscopic) performance testing of rubber articles. 10%


Elastomer or Rubber Technology represents a sub-group of the wider field of polymer technology. It covers about 15% of the total polymer turnover. Polymer-technology originated from rubber-technology, but rubbers have kept their own identity because of their unique combination of resilience and form stability after extremely large deformations, commonly designated as "rubber-elasticity".

Elastomeric articles always are there to perform a function, wherein the rubber-elastic properties are the key factor: e.g. a car-tire translates all car-drivers interventions into the car-road contact: accelerating, breaking, cornering, etc. In this functional performance, the design of the article, the composition of the elastomeric material - commonly prepared for the purpose and called "compounding" - and the manufacturing technique all come together and jointly determine the end-result.

In this introductory course the structural characteristics and properties of elastomers are covered, as well as the basic principles of compounding, processing and vulcanization, all illustrated with representative examples of rubber applications.

The course includes a 5 days laboratory training into rubber compounding, vulcanization and characterization of mechanical properties, mainly to illustrate and visualize the main processing and performance tests in use in the rubber world, as they are different from thermoplastic polymers.




Some basic knowledge of polymers. For students within the Faculty CTW:

For students from other faculties this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Recommended: For students within the Faculty CTW: Inleiding Technologisch Onderzoek (191155210)