MIL-HDBK-695, “Rubber Products: Recommended Shelf Life,” has just be revised to the new Revision E dated 10/20/2011. This handbook provides guidance for establishing time periods for the expected life of elastomeric products during shelf storage.
It is a U.S. Department of Defense handbook, developed for guidance only, not to be cited as a requirement. The decision as to whether or not a product will have a limit placed upon the time that it may remain in storage is a function of the agency responsible for the product’s ultimate use.
The types of elastomeric products covered by MIL-HDBK-695E are
- 1) Products fabricated solely from rubber. These include solid rubber, cellular rubber and hard rubber (ebonite) items.
- 2) Composites in which the rubber is present as a discrete phase. Examples are cables, fabric reinforced gaskets, non-aerospace hoses, rubber coated fabrics, shock mounts and tires.
- 3) Kits, accessories and outfits. The shelf life for these items should be determined by the component with the earliest expiration date.
The bulk of the handbook is a series of tables. Table I covers age resistance generally associated with products fabricated from various rubbers. ARP 5316, “Storage of Elastomeric Seals and Seal Assemblies Which Include an Elastomer Element Prior to Hardware Assembly,” was used as the basis for developing Table I shelf life values and providing the external factors that influence an item’s shelf life.
Tables II through IV list various documents from the DOD, ASTM International, SAE International and AIA (NAS standards). The documents listed in Table II, Table III, and Table IV list only the documents which had procurements within the last 10 years.
The shelf life values listed in Table II were determined based upon the optimum storage conditions and the type of rubber commonly used or required by the document. Tables III and IV do not list specific shelf life dates because the specific rubber types are not defined in the document.
Appendix A provides a cross reference of all materials (Table V) and specifications (Table VI) that have been removed from the previous revision of this handbook.
There are no marginal notations on the changes from the previous issue because they were deemed too numerous to identify. The new 42-page Revision E replaces Revision D with Change 2 from 5/23/2005.
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