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Monthly Archives: July 2014

  • Specialty Seals and Custom Insulation for Military Vehicles

    Specialty Seals and Custom Insulation for Military Vehicles Specialty Seals and Custom Insulation for Military Vehicles

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Sealing and insulation solutions for military applications must be able to withstand extreme conditions. Depending on the mission, service, and theater of operations, military vehicles may face high or low temperatures, snow or blowing sand, and attacks via land mines, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), or improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    In both Iraq and Afghanistan, armored fighting vehicles played a pivotal role in protecting U.S. and Coalition personnel. Most observers notice a military vehicle’s plating and weapons systems, of course, but rubber also plays an important role. That’s true as well for Coast Guard and Navy frigates, and for Air Force helicopters and air planes.

    Spliced and Molded Window Gaskets

    Elasto Proxy designs and custom-fabricates many different rubber parts for military applications. In the image that accompanies this blog entry, callouts 1 and 2 show examples of spliced and molded window gaskets. With film splicing, our custom fabrication specialists can create rubber gaskets with strong bonds – and without adhesives or secondary trimming.

    Other available splicing solutions include cold bonding, vulcanizing, and C-press injection molding. The C-press process is more expensive than film splicing, but is often the right choice for square gaskets with radius corners. C-press injection molding is also recommended for bulbs with difficult shapes, especially with small-to-medium quantities of the most challenging seal designs.

    Acoustic and Thermal Engine Bay Insulation

    Elasto Proxy also supplies military vehicles with engine bay insulation. In the image above, callouts 3 and 4 are examples of acoustic insulation and thermal insulation. Both types of specialty insulation products can be made of composite materials and then formed into application-specific shapes and thicknesses. Typically, the structure is sandwich-like with multiple layers.

    Acoustic engine bay insulation is usually made of lightweight, sound-dampening materials that allow sound waves to bounce off. Thermal insulation is designed to absorb heat from an engine compartment and deflect heat away from the cab. Silicone, a synthetic resin, is often used because it resists high temperatures and provides acoustic insulation at the same time.

    Windows Channels, Sealing Profiles, and Vibration Mounts

    In addition to window gaskets and engine bay insulation, Elasto Proxy can also supply specialty window channels and custom rubber profiles. In the blog image, the rubber channels shown in callout 5 help can be used to secure window frames and hold window glass in place. These rubber parts also seal gaps and help prevent the ingress of dust, smoke, or water into the vehicle’s interior.

    Elasto Proxy can also custom-fabricate rubber profiles that help keep air, sand, and water out of a vehicle compartments. As callout 5 shows, sponge profiles and solid profiles are available for specialized applications. Finally, as callout 6 indicates, Elasto Proxy can supply vibration mounts for sensitive electronic displays within a vehicle’s interior.

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you have questions about rubber products for military vehicles? Are you seeking a supply chain partner whose experience with sealing and insulation complements your own expertise in defense contracting? For 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been solving sealing challenges in military programs on land, air, and sea.

    Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • Specialty Seals and Custom Insulation for Mass Transit

    Elasto Bus1

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Sealing and insulation for mass transit applications must account for factors such as service conditions, vehicle weight, and passenger health and safety. Subways, trains, and buses operate in a variety of outdoor environments, including hot and cold temperatures. Wind, rain, snow, and sunlight can also cause rubber parts to fail if buyers choose the wrong compounds. Lightweight materials help to reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel economy, but compound selection must account for multiple factors.

    In addition to environmental conditions and vehicle weight, product designers and technical buyers need to analyze requirements for passenger health and safety. Because some combustion reactions can produce dangerous toxins, the mass transit industry needs fireproof rubber parts such as seals, mats, gaskets, hose, flooring, and insulation. Moreover, these parts may need to comply with fire, smoke, and toxicity (TST) standards such as Bombardier SMP 800-C and FMVSS-3-2.

    Spliced Window Gaskets

    Elasto Proxy designs and custom-fabricates many different rubber parts for mass transit applications. In the image that accompanies this blog entry, callout 1 shows a spliced window gasket for a bus. With film splicing, our custom fabrication specialists can create rubber gaskets with strong bonds – and without adhesives or secondary trimming. This unique, one-step process offers fast cycle times, and closes and seal gaskets without inserts.

    In addition to windows, film splices are also used in vehicle doors and automotive-quality gaskets because they create strong corners that won’t crack. They’re well suited for taped profiles, and our custom fabrication specialists can produce both spliced and angled corners. By listening to our mass transit partners and analyzing all of their needs, Elasto Proxy can also provide high-quality edge trim for your application.

    Window Channels

    In addition to spliced window gaskets, Elasto Proxy can supply specialty window channels such as the rubber parts shown in callout 2. Depending on your requirements, window channels can hold window glass in place, or help secure window frames to vehicle bodies. These rubber profiles also seal out wind and weather, reduce or eliminate noise and vibration, and help protect vehicle interior while ensuring occupant comfort and safety.

    Mass transit partners appreciate that Elasto Proxy offers out-of-the box sealing solutions so that personnel do not have to cut window channels to size. These rubber seals are easy to install with hand tools and lubrication that’s applied either during manufacturing or installation.  Typically, EPDM rubber is used and the durometer, a measure of hardness, ranges from 50 to 80 duro. Choices for shape include locking channel, self-locking channel, glazing seal, and zipper strip.

    Custom Molded Gaskets

    Elasto Proxy also supplies mass transit partners with custom molded gaskets as shown in callout 3 of the blog image. From compound selection to design to prototyping to production, our solutions providers specialize in customized rubber components like the one that is shown. By custom molding rubber gaskets, Elasto Proxy can work with a range of natural and synthetic rubbers to meet your needs.

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you have questions about rubber products for mass transit? Are you seeking a supply chain partner whose experience with sealing and insulation complements your own expertise with subways, trains, or buses? For 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been solving sealing challenges.

    Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • How Seal Simulation Strengthens Product Design

    3D Printing Prototype Blog

    Philippe Grenier Production Coordinator at Elasto Proxy

    Seal simulation can save your product designers time and money. Instead of creating a rubber part, testing it in the field, and then correcting any problems through multiple iterations, a design team can use predictive modeling to simulate seal performance without incurring material or fabrication costs. Using sophisticated computer-aided design (CAD) software, modelers can design and test parts such as door seals to predict operational and assembly strains.

    Many part designers already use CAD software, of course, and there are a variety of CAD applications on the market. Some are more robust than others, and not all CAD programs incorporate seal simulation capabilities. There’s also the matter of application knowledge and technical expertise. Seal designs can be complex, and a product designer who is an expert in vehicles, HVAC systems, or machinery may seek the expertise of a partner who can simulate gasket compression, or analyze the deformation of a profile.

    Predictive Modeling with SolidWorks®

    To support your product designs and strengthen your bottom line, Elasto Proxy uses SolidWorks for seal simulation. This robust, three-dimensional (3D) CAD application lets our technical services team enter and adjust numeric parameters while preserving your design intent and accounting for all part features. Trusted by more than 2 million engineers at over 165,000 companies worldwide, SolidWorks generates views automatically and supports the addition of dimensions and tolerances to drawings.

    SolidWorks is used in a variety of manufacturing-related industries, and its applications at Elasto Proxy strengthen our technical design and custom fabrication capabilities. By using this 3D modeling software to analyze the deformation of a rubber profile, for example, our solutions providers may be able to minimize the amount of material that’s needed – and thus reduce costs. Our technical services team can also use SolidWorks to predict and correct problems that can shorten the lifespan of a rubber part.

    From Design to Prototype to Custom Fabrication

    Because SolidWorks accepts CAD files from other software applications, Elasto Proxy can begin with your digitized designs (if you have them). Our technical services team can also work with your physical drawings or blueprints, and enter numeric parameters such as dimensions directly into the application. Knowing which part of a profile is fixed and which part of a gasket is movable enables our designers to virtually press a seal face or bulb, simulating the effects of various pressures.

    If there’s a problem with your part deign, we can modify the digital drawing as necessary and increase a wall thickness or extend a lip. When it’s time to supply a prototype, Elasto Proxy can produce a part in-house and even leverage its partnership with an expert in 3D printing. Finally, using SolidWorks files, our custom fabrication specialists can create even highly complex parts in the shapes and sizes that you require. Our water jet cutter can achieve tight tolerances, and eliminates tooling costs.

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you have questions about seal simulation? Are you seeking a supply chain partner whose experience with seal designs matches your own expertise in crafting your company’s products? For 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been solving sealing challenges in a wide variety of industries. By listening to all of your requirements and analyzing all of your needs, our solutions providers can help.

    Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • Inflatable Seals for Powders and Material Handling

    Inflatable Seals

    Clyde Sharpe President of International Sales at Elasto Proxy

    Have you heard the old saying, “It’s just like riding a bike”? Some skills, once learned, are not forgotten. Without the right rubber parts, however, even the best bicycle can’t carry you along roads or trails. You may be able to maintain your balance for a while, but you won’t get far riding on a metal rim. A flat tire is no fun, and repairing or replacing a bicycle tube can be challenging.

    Has it been a few years since you’ve ridden a ten-speed or a mountain bike? Even if it has, you can still appreciate the example of a bike tube and tire. When the rubber inner tube is inflated, the doughnut-shaped balloon expands and increases the tire’s pressure. In turn, this pressure supports the weight of the bike and rider. Air is added through a valve, and avoiding a flat means filling the tire (and tube) to the proper pressure. Otherwise, deflation can leave you stranded with a long walk home.

    From Bike Rides to Manufacturing Operations

    Inflatable seals are similar to bicycle tubes and tires. Like inner tubes, they’re made of rubber materials and inflated with air. Like bike tires, they’re also made of rubber, but reinforced with fabric or fiberglass for greater abrasion and wear resistance. Compounders add different chemicals to the rubber to impart specific material properties, including color. Product designers and manufacturers, including custom fabrication specialists, then transform stock profiles into application-specific solutions.

    Unlike bicycles, however, inflatable seals are used mainly in manufacturing environments. These industrial rubber parts are ideal for covering a gap when there’s little room and no friction on the gasket. Inflatable rubber seals expand when they’re needed and then contract when an operation moves to the next step or level. Standard seals made of materials such as sponge EPDM may work for a while, but lose the gap after a few uses. When rubber seals aren’t tight enough, they can crack and fail.

    Inflatable Sealing for Manufacturers

    For manufacturers then, inflatable seals are used during operations such as the movement of powders between drums or barrels. The sealing action that these rubber parts provide helps to prevent the loss of bulk solids, ensure product purity, and protect personnel. Waste reduction is important, of course, but manufacturers must also prevent unwanted admixtures of different types of powder materials. In high enough concentrations, too, some powders can be explosive.

    Applications for inflatable seals include the powdered metals industry, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and food processing. To help contain metal powders, reinforced seals made of EPDM and neoprene are used since wear and abrasion resistance are important. In the pharmaceuticals industry, FDA-approved silicones may be required. Because of their high service temperatures, silicones are also used in ovens, where inflatable seals support robotic fingers that grab and move containers or products.

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you need to source inflatable seals for these or other applications? How can we help you? For 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been working with partners in a variety of industries to solve sealing challenges. By listening to all of your requirements and analyzing all of your needs, our solutions providers can recommend inflatable seals that are right for your application.

    Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

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