On the puncture strength of rubber

Ab-Malek, Kamarudin (1987) On the puncture strength of rubber. Doctoral thesis, Polytechnic of North London.


A fracture mechanics study has been carried out on the fracture of rubber by cylindrical indentors. Several phenomena have been identified which affect the puncture process.

It has been observed that a ring crack forms on the rubber surface before puncture occurs. By treating this crack as a starter crack, an equation has been derived for the puncture energy. The values of puncture energy so obtained were found to agree well with the catastrophic tearing energy obtained from the trouser tear test.

The energy stored in the rubber influenced the value of the puncture energy calculated. The energy beneath the indentor was determined using a model experiment based on the biaxial stretching of rubber by inflation. The energy stored in the rubber surrounding the indentor was calculated. The contribution of these energies was shown to be small.

The puncture test was used to study the strength of thick rubber blocks which had been exposed to long-term ageing and to high temperatures. These rubber blocks were taken from rubber bearings of 20 and 96 years of age respectively. A study was also carried out on a natural rubber tyre after forty two years immersion in sea water.

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