It has cracked the mystery surrounding rubber failure, says Sumitomo Rubber Industries in a joint study with the Dresden, Germany-based Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research.
In a recent statement, the Japanese tire and rubber company said the “ground-breaking” research sheds light on the unknown mechanism that causes microscopic voids within the rubber which lead to the formation and propagation of cracks.
In relation to previous research, SRI discovered that it had failed to “fully explicate” the theory that the fracturing of rubber molecules and the formation of voids within rubber at the microscopic scale led to the formation and growth of cracks in the rubber and eventually rubber failure.
The Sumitomo company states that with this latest joint research, it has succeeded in “directly observing internal structural changes in combination with the mechanical behavior of molecules within actual synthetic rubber specimens.”
SRI claims that the findings of the research will give “greater control over viscoelastic properties of the rubber” and could help develop rubber materials with “extremely high durability.”