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Frequently Asked Questions: Materials


What does shore hardness mean?


What Is Shore Hardness?

Something you will see us talk about on a lot of our products is the shore hardness value of the material. Different hardness values are more suitable for certain products than others and understanding this can help ensure you get the perfect product for your needs. This post is going to talk you through the way people calculate shore hardness and how this separates products.

Different Hardness Types

The first thing you will probably notice is that the hardness is split into different types. There are 12 different hardness types in total with each type having it’s own scale from 0 – 100. This essentially means that a full hardness scale can have 1200 different values. However, it is important to note that a lot of the hardness types aren’t commonly used in rubber products. The main shore hardness types we use in our products are Shore (A), Shore (D) and Shore (00).

Shore (00): Comprised predominantly of soft materials, highly flexible materials such as sponge.

Shore (A): Has a wide hardness range. Is able to be used in extremely soft materials and extremely hard materials. Products such as rubber fenders benefit from being solid to touch but can also compress under pressure.

Shore (D): Used exclusively in firm products, due to it’s solid construction. Hard hats benefit from the superior hardness that shore D offers.

Shore Hardness Comparison Chart


From the chart above you can see that there is some overlap between the shore hardness types. However, it is always important to consider the application when selecting a hardness type. For example, Shore (A) 60° is the same as Shore (D) 0° but this doesn’t mean that materials would have the same properties. So manufacturing a fender out of a Shore (D) material would reduce the flexibility of the fender and reduce it’s impact absorption properties.

To Put It Simply

In order to make it easier to remember shore hardness can be split up like this;

The earlier the letter comes in the alphabet – The softer the material

The lower the hardness number – The softer the material.

We are more than happy to assist with any shore hardness queries you may have. It is always important to get the right material to suit the application.


What is the difference between Viton® and FKM?



There is a lot of confusion around the difference between Viton® and FKM rubber and people tend to interpret these as different materials.

This is however not the case. Both are single based materials called Fluoro Rubber.

-FKM is the abbreviated form for the fluoroelastomer according to ASTM. 

The Rubber Company supply commercial FKM rubber sheeting in rolls/sheet and convert to gaskets / seals.

-Viton® is the registered trademark of DuPont Performance Elastomers.

We also supply genuine FKM Viton rubber sheeting in rolls/sheet and convert to gaskets / seals.

genuine-viton    viton-rubber-sheeting

The Rubber Company

Unit 27 Romsey Industrial Estate

Greatbridge Road



SO51 0HR

United Kingdom

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