Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is a testing method that measures the elasticity and damping of rubber compounds, also referred to as viscoelastic properties. DMA applies sinusoidal deformation to evaluate a compound’s response to different temperatures and frequencies.
The DMA traditionally has been used in tire compound development; however, DMA can be a useful tool in evaluating any rubber part used in dynamic applications. DMA has the capability to evaluate strain, frequencies and temperatures in compression, tension or shear, allowing for a unique fingerprint of a rubber compound at operating conditions that goes beyond traditional, one-dimensional lab tests like unaged physical properties and hardness.
This paper elaborates viscoelastic theory through a non-tire lens and includes a case study evaluating how DMA can be used to determine compound suitability in wiper blade and engine mount applications.