How to Read & Understand an ASTM D2000 Rubber Specification

A breakdown by example, key tables for the specification and an outline of a ASTM documentation contents

By Cody David

This article breaks down the ASTM D2000 specification outlined by ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials), a globally recognized organization that sets voluntary technical standards for a wide array of materials, including rubber.

As a key specification in our industry, understanding ASTM rubber specifications is essential for manufacturers, engineers, and users to make informed decisions about the selection and design of rubber materials.

This article is divided into 3 sections

  1. Breaking down an example (jump to section)
  2. Tables used to decode ASTM callouts (jump to section)
  3. A brief overview of ASTM D200 documentation (jump to section)

Breaking Down an Example (ASTM D2000)

An ASTM specification is made up of a series of callouts where each section of letter/number combinations relates to a specific aspect of the rubber material’s physical properties that critically affect functionality. With proper understanding, a long and complex specification can be translated into an exact list of requirements.

Example: ASTM D2000 M5BG714 A14 B14 EO34 Z1 (Z1 = 75 durometer)

We have separated this example specification into 4 sections:

  • Specification (ASTM D2000)
    This outlines the documentation that you must refer to in order to get the full background, tables, test methods, and more from the complete ASTM specification, see section “Aspects of ASTM Specification Documentation” below for more information.

  • General Requirements (M5BG714)
    This string details the general performance characteristics and essential requirements for the rubber material including unit of measure, grade, type, class, durometer and minimum tensile strength required.
    • Type & class are often used together for polymer determination
      • Type: temperature required during test
      • Class: level of oil swell resistance
    • In the example, the type & class BG requirements are can be reached with nitrile

  • Application-Specific Callouts (A14 B14 EO34)
    These sets of callouts (1-4 characters per callout) dictate the application-specific testing and performance requirements of the rubber material. Each callout is comprised of 2 sections of letters and numbers such as A14.
    • Letter(s) (A) – physical characteristic test
      • compression set, tear resistance, adhesion, etc. See Table C below
    • 1st Number (1) – various requirements and methodology of testing
    • 2nd Number (4) – temperature requirement for the test

  • Special Requirement Callouts (Z1)
    An engineer or end user may use any number of ‘Z’ callouts to alter the specification for their specific requirement and they can be utilized to convey physical characteristics such as color, compatibilities, polymer/filler type, resistances and more. In this example, the Z1 callout is used to override the set durometer from 70 to 75.

Tables for Decoding ASTM Callouts

To effectively translate your ASTM specification, you must use the tables for each specification section. We have provided a few of the tables that will help you get started, though we advise that you contact the manufacturer of your rubber products directly to decipher your application’s requirements or aid in decoding your specification.

Please also contact WARCO at 714-532-3355 or for assistance.

Table A: Material Type

TypeTest Temperature, °C

Table B: Material Class

ClassVolume Swell, Max, %
ANo requirement

Table AB: Material Recommendation for Common Type & Class Combinations

Type & Class CombinationsRubber Material Polymer Recommendation
AANatural Rubber, Reclaimed Rubber, SBR, Butyl, EP Polybutadiene, Polyisoprene
BAEthylene Propylene (EPDM), High-Temperature SBR, and Butyl Compounds
BCChloroprene Polymers (Neoprene), cm
BEChloroprene Polymers (Neoprene), cm
BFNitrile (NBR polymers, Buna-N)
BGNitrile (NBR polymers, Buna-N), Urethanes
BKNitrile (NBR, Buna-N)
CAEthylene Propylene (EPDM)
CEChlorosulfonated Polyethylene (Hypalon), cm
CHNitrile (NBR Polymers, Buna-N), Epichlorohydrin Polymers
DAEthylene Propylene (EPDM) Polymers
DFPolyacrylic (Butyl-Acrylate Type)
DHPolyacrylic Polymers, HNBR
FCSilicones (high strength) (INFINISIL™)
FESilicones (INFINISIL™)
FKFluorinated Silicones
GESilicones (INFINISIL™)

Table C: Applications-Specific Letters (Suffix Letters)

Suffix LetterApplication Specific Test Required
AHeat Resistance
BCompression Set
COzone or Weather Resistance
DCompression-Deflection Resistance
EAFluid Resistance (Aqueous)
EFFluid Resistance (Fuels)
EOFluid Resistance (Oils and Lubricants)
FLow-Temperature Resistance
GTear Resistance
HFlex Resistance
JAbrasion Resistance
MFlammability Resistance
NImpact Resistance
PStaining Resistance
ZAny special requirement, which shall be specified in detail, test method to be specified

Aspects of ASTM Specification Documentation

ASTM specification documentation will provide a complete explanation of the scope of requirement and test methods. As ASTM requirements are not limited to rubber products, their documentation is divided into these nine components which will allow you to better understand the correct applications for each specification.

  1. Scope
    The Scope section of an ASTM rubber specification defines the extent and application of the standard. It outlines the specific products, materials, or processes covered by the specification and may include limitations or exclusions.
  2. Referenced Documents
    This section lists relevant standards, test methods, and other documents referenced within the ASTM specification. It provides guidance on testing procedures, materials, and terminology used in conjunction with the specification.
  3. Terminology
    Terminology sections within ASTM specifications define key terms and definitions relevant to the subject matter. Clear and consistent terminology ensures mutual understanding among stakeholders and facilitates accurate interpretation and implementation of the specification.
  4. Significance and Use
    The Significance and Use section of an ASTM specification explains the purpose and importance of the standard. It provides guidance on the intended application, interpretation, and implementation of the specification to ensure effective utilization by industry professionals.
  5. Materials and Manufacture
    This section describes the materials and manufacturing processes of producing the specified rubber product. It may include requirements for raw materials, compound formulations, processing techniques, and quality control measures.
  6. Classification
    The Classification section categorizes rubber products based on specific criteria such as material composition, physical properties, intended use, or performance characteristics. Classification helps users identify suitable products for their applications and facilitates product comparison and selection.
  7. Requirements
    Requirements sections specify the mandatory characteristics, properties, or performance criteria that rubber products must meet to comply with the ASTM specification. It establishes minimum values, tolerance limits, or acceptance criteria for various attributes such as mechanical properties, chemical resistance, and durability.
  8. Test Methods
    Test Methods sections outline standardized procedures for evaluating the properties and performance of rubber products according to the ASTM specification. These methods provide consistent and reliable means of assessing product quality, verifying compliance with requirements, and ensuring consistency in testing across different laboratories and manufacturers.
  9. Keywords
    The Keywords section lists key terms and phrases used within the ASTM specification for easy reference and cross-referencing. It helps users quickly locate relevant information and facilitates communication and understanding among stakeholders.


    A working understanding of the ASTM D2000 rubber specification is necessary for manufacturers, engineers, and users of rubber products to communicate requirements needed to achieve optimal product quality and performance across diverse applications. By delving into the intricate details of these specifications, one can decode complex callouts, understand material grades, and ascertain crucial performance metrics. The breakdown provided here offers a systematic approach to deciphering ASTM D2000 specifications, enabling you to make well-informed decisions in material selection, design, and application appropriateness.

    WARCO has had over 114 years of experience developing quality rubber products for thousands of applications. Our vast catalogue of proven rubber compounds includes a wide variety of formulations, which meet countless ASTM D2000 specifications, that can jumpstart your next project.

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