How is silicone rubber used for sealing and insulation? Silicones have valuable properties, but engineers need rubber that meets specific requirements. If you’re wondering whether silicone seals, gaskets, or insulation are the right choice for your application, consider some of the uses for this versatile polymer. The examples you’ll read about aren’t the only uses for silicone, but they’re representative. Continue reading
When is silicone rubber the right choice for sealing and insulation? Silicones have many desirable properties, but can cost more than other polymers. That’s why some engineers avoid them – even though silicone prices have fallen. At the same time, newer materials such as thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are interesting but even more expensive.
If you’re wondering whether silicone rubber is the right choice for your application, Elasto Proxy invites you to take a fresh look at these synthetic elastomers. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we’ll examine the advantages of silicone rubber, cover some basic chemistry, and then focus on silicone gasket materials. Next, we’ll categorize silicones in different ways so that you’ll be ready to understand the applications. Continue reading
TPE profiles are replacing EPDM rubber in applications such as mobile equipment, food equipment, and infrastructure. Unlike EPDM, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are recyclable. That’s especially important in Europe, where manufacturers are moving away from petroleum-based materials.
In North America and other parts of the world, the availability of TPEs in custom colors is driving demand. TPEs can cost more than EPDM profiles, but thermoplastic rubbers (TPRs) – as TPEs are sometimes called – offer important advantages for product designers and engineers. Are TPE profiles the right choice for your next project? Continue reading
Bulb trim seals are used with doors, hatches, and enclosures. They have two sections: the bulb and the retainer. The bulb section provides sealing and insulation under compressive force. The trim or retainer section presses onto a flange or substrate.
Elasto Proxy supplies many different types of industrial rubber products, but there are three things about bulb trim seals that engineers need to know. Continue reading
Rubber Gate Seal for Water Filtration System Lasts Longer, Resists Disinfection, Adds Business Value
When a manufacturer of water filtration systems needed a rubber gate seal that would last longer and resist ultraviolet (UV) light, Elasto Proxy provided a value-added solution. This custom gasket doesn’t just resist exposure to water, contact with metal and concrete, and disinfection with UV light. The gate seal also supports ease-of-installation and is ready to ship from Elasto Proxy’s warehouse in Newmarket, Ontario.
The 60-durometer EPDM lip seal (J-seal) that Elasto Proxy provides attaches to the bottom of a metal gate used in water treatment facilities. This rubber seal is also compressed against hard concrete floors and exposed to a range of temperatures. UV disinfection kills waterborne microbes that can make people sick, but ultraviolet light can also degrade rubber materials. Without reliable sealing and strong bonding, gaskets like this can’t meet business or technical requirements.
To provide a complete sealing solution, Elasto Proxy leveraged its expertise in seal design, material selection, custom fabrication, warehousing, and logistics. Continue reading
Cold bonding for rubber gaskets joins lengths of material without the use of heat. This bonding technique doesn’t require low-temperature conditions, but is called “cold” because no heat is applied to the gasket. By contrast, hot splicing requires either a conventional heat source or infrared (IR) light. Vulcanization and molded corners for rubber gaskets also involve heating gasket materials.
With cold bonding, an adhesive is applied to the ends of the lengths that will be joined together. Different types of bonding systems are available, including compounds that vary in terms of viscosity, chemistry, and material properties. Cold bonding for rubber gaskets can save time and eliminate tooling costs, but engineers need a complete understanding of this joining method before choosing glued gaskets. Continue reading
Molded corners for rubber gaskets are recommended for applications that require rounded joints, the ability to withstand stretching, or high cycle times. Molding is more expensive than hot splicing or vulcanization, but it’s the only way to create radisued corners. C-press injection molding, a bonding method for rubber gaskets, is ideal for low-to-medium volume quantities but suitable only for solid profiles.
By understanding how C-press injection molding works and the advantages that molded corners provide, engineers can make strong decisions about gasket fabrication. In this article, the second in a series from Elasto Proxy, we’ll continue our coverage of joining methods. Next week’s content, the last in our series, will examine cold bonding. Continue reading
Hot splicing and vulcanizing for rubber gaskets are bonding techniques that use heat, pressure, and a film splice or uncured rubber to join the ends of profiles. Hot splicing uses thin polyethylene (PE) film and either a conventional heating source or infrared (IR) light. Vulcanization uses an uncured rubber compound, along with heat and pressure. Both hot splicing and vulcanization create chemical bonds at the molecular level.
For engineers, choosing a splicing method for rubber gaskets is an important manufacturing decision. By balancing costs against capabilities, you can get the sealing and insulation solutions that you really need. Traditional hot splicing, infrared or IR splicing, and vulcanization all have their advantages, but they also have their differences. In this article, the first in a series from Elasto Proxy, we’ll examine each of these bonding techniques in detail. Future articles will cover molded corners and cold bonding. Continue reading
Flame retardant rubber helps to protect people and property from the devastating effects of fire. By stopping or slowing the spread of flame, these elastomers reduce the rate and intensity of burning. They can also limit the release of smoke and toxins while increasing the amount of time that people have to escape from life-threatening situations. Applications for these specialized compounds include electronic enclosures and the interiors of buses, trains, and subways.
For engineers, it’s important to understand that all flame retardant rubber is not the same. There are different classes of flame retardants, chemicals that are added or applied during compounding. There are also different flammability standards by industry and within the same industry. For example, the mass transit industry has so many different flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) standards that simply asking for an “FST compound” or “flame retardant rubber” risks getting you the wrong material. Continue reading
FDA gasket materials are used in food contact applications such as commercial kitchens. They meet strict standards from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a regulatory agency that’s responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety and quality of many food products. The FDA’s jurisdiction is limited to the United States, but FDA standards are followed worldwide.
FDA gasket materials for food contact applications are subjected to rigorous testing. They are non-toxic, non-marking, non-allergenic, and reliable over a wide range of temperatures. These compounds are also tasteless, odorless, and resistant to the natural growth of bacteria. Not all food-grade rubber is FDA approved, however, so it’s important to choose gasket materials with care. Continue reading