Shore (Durometer) Hardness Testing of Plastics
The hardness of plastics is most commonly measured by the Shore® (Durometer) test or Rockwell hardness test. Both methods measure the resistance of plastics toward indentation and provide an empirical hardness value that doesn’t necessarily correlate well to other properties or fundamental characteristics. Shore Hardness, using either the Shore A or Shore D scale, is the preferred method for rubbers/elastomers and is also commonly used for ‘softer’ plastics such as polyolefins, fluoropolymers, and vinyls. The Shore A scale is used for ‘softer’ rubbers while the Shore D scale is used for ‘harder’ ones. Many other Shore hardness scales exist, such as Shore OO and Shore H hardness, but are only rarely encountered by most people in the plastics industry.