Efficient purchasing of automotive rubber products with the ASTM D 2000 standard

Purchasing automotive rubber products with the ASTM D 2000 standard can sometimes be fraught with pitfalls. The overwhelming majority of specifications covering compounds for automotive rubber products are based on the ASTM D 2000 standard (Standard Classification for Rubber Products in Automotive Applications).  A second standard, SAE J200 (Classification System for Rubber Products) is, for all intents and purposes, identical to ASTM D 2000 so, for the purposes of this blog, we are referring to both standards. Despite the robustness of the ASTM D 2000 standard, there are some traps to avoid when using it to buy automotive rubber products.

The ASTM D 2000 standard was developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in year 2000. The ASTM website (http://www.astm.org/Standards/D2000.htm) states that the standard covers the properties of vulcanized rubber materials that are intended for, but not limited to, use in automotive rubber products. According to ASTM, the standard is based on the premise that the properties of all rubber products can be arranged into characteristic material designations. These designations are determined by types (based on resistance to heat aging), and classes (based on resistance to swelling in oil). The intent of the standard is to provide a classification system that gives a complete description of the quality of all elastomeric materials.

Two issues often arise with the use of the ASTM D 2000 standard when procuring automotive rubber products. The first issue is where the requirements for a product being procured are too specific to be fully described by the ASTM D 2000 classification system. In these cases, buyers will need to source and deal with suppliers who have the capability to establish and assure the needed material properties and specifications, supported by appropriate test methods and data where needed.

The second issue, also related to the first, concerns an information asymmetry that is often present in the ASTM D 2000 procurement process. Information asymmetries arise when one party to a transaction has more, or better, information than the other party. This situation can arise, for example, when a purchasing firm’s engineering department releases a drawing and ASTM D 2000 line call-out (material specification) that requires further clarification by the seller to assure that the product will work as intended in-use. To obtain this clarity, the seller must usually bypass the buyer, who often knows little about the intended application, and contact the buying organization’s engineering department to better understand the product application and develop a more appropriate material specification.

These two issues are important in ASTM D 2000 procurement because they directly impact purchasing costs and product quality. Search costs can be incurred by buyers who need to find reliable suppliers that can assure the needed product quality by way of material properties, specifications, and test data. Information asymmetries, when present in a transaction, also drive procurement costs by delaying the buying process and consuming valuable resources unnecessarily. Unless these asymmetries are resolved, products purchased may not be fully fit for their intended use, thereby driving additional costs associated with corrective actions and repairs.

Given these issues, it pays buyers to deal with suppliers who have proven experience in satisfying ASTM D 2000 procurements. CRGI has 14-years experience in using the ASTM D 2000 standard since its release to provide automakers, and their supply chain, with the highest quality automotive rubber products and solutions. We know how to work with buyers who use the ASTM D 2000 standard in procurement and avoid the pitfalls noted above. CRGI can help streamline your ASTM D 2000 buying process and ensure that your application needs are fully understood and met, first time, every time. To find out how CRGI can help you with your automotive rubber products needs, contact our automotive sales manager, Paul Carey, at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.

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