Important Considerations When Choosing Elastomeric Materials

Elastomers are materials that regain their original shape and size after the removal of a load or stressor. These materials are able to stretch extensively without breaking and have a wide range of temperature resistance. The term elastomeric is used to describe any material that contains the properties of an elastomer.

Other elastomeric properties vary based on type but generally involve:

  • Hardness
  • Compression Set
  • Tensile Strength
  • Abrasion Resistance
  • Tear Strength
  • Color
  • Aging
  • Gas Permeability
  • Elongation at Break

The Three Big Questions

Answering these three questions will help you choose the appropriate elastomeric material for your project:

  1. What are the service conditions that the product will encounter?
  2. What are the design requirements?
  3. What are the quality requirements?

Service Conditions

Additional questions to consider regarding the service conditions include:

  • Is the movement of the product static or dynamic?
  • Will there be fluid or chemical contact? This includes any additives or possible contaminants.
  • What is the temperature range (minimum and maximum) in operation?
  • What is the pressure range (minimum and maximum) in operation?
  • Will it be subject to compression, deflection, or torsion?
  • Is it for a vacuum application, whether applied or cyclic?


The design requirements will impact what material you select for your product. Answer these questions to help you choose the appropriate material:

  • What are the dimensions? Include both critical and applied tolerances.
  • What is the configuration? Is there a special shape for a specific use or application?
  • What is the description or function of the product (e.g. seal or gasket)?
  • What is the expected and/or desired service life of the product?
  • What manufacturing, assembly, and/or regulatory factors need to be considered?


The specific qualities needed to create your product will determine which material you select. Questions to consider include:

  • What are the material specifications (e.g. SAE or ASTM)?
  • What qualifications must the material meet for testing?
  • Does it require lot sampling or 100% inspection?
  • Are there color or visual requirements?
  • What is the acceptable quality level?
  • What are the inspection criteria?
  • Are there test reports or certification requirements?
  • What is the trim level required to meet visual and functional requirements?
  • Are there test slab or specimen requirements?

Material Selection

Once all of these questions are answered, you will have a better idea of what the most appropriate elastomeric material would be for your application. For more detailed information about the advantages, disadvantages, applications, and temperature ranges of various materials, check out our Elastomeric Material Selection Guide.

Custom Extrusion Manufacturer

Since our beginning, we have developed and maintained a solid presence in the custom-manufacturing arena. For over a quarter of a century, we have specialized in quality custom extrusion and molded products in rubber, silicone, flexible plastic, and other elastomeric materials. We have worked hard to become leaders in our industry.

Request a quote on custom extruded or molded products for your application, or contact us to find out what we can do for you.

NW Rubber Extruders