Hatch seals for military vehicles need to meet multiple requirements. In addition to keeping out wind, water, dirt, and mud, these rubber parts must resist temperatures in environments such as arctic cold and desert heat.
Rubber hatch seals need to withstand compression, too. If the vehicle’s hatch causes the seal to over-compress, the rubber part won’t provide proper sealing.
Ultimately, this permanent deformation or compression set creates a gap and can cause seal failure.
When a manufacturer of military vehicles needed a replacement hatch seal, Elasto Proxy observed the effects of compression set firsthand. While touring a military base, members of our technical team saw how an over-compressed neoprene seal had allowed dirt to accumulate inside a ground vehicle. Armor plating could protect the vehicle’s crew from gunfire and IED blasts, but these rubber hatch seals couldn’t meet the mission’s requirements for protecting the vehicle’s interior from airborne debris.
Neoprene rubber offers an excellent balance of material properties, but silicone sponge provides greater compression set resistance. Like other silicone elastomers, silicone sponge materials resist water, ozone, sunlight, and a wide range of temperature.
Compared to silicone foam, however, silicone sponge offers greater toughness – an important consideration in military applications. Some grades of silicone sponge also resist fuels, chemicals, and published standards for flammability.
The silicone sponge that Elasto Proxy recommended for the vehicle’s hatch seals had enough “memory” so that these rubber parts could rebound to their original thickness, even at higher temperatures. By leveraging Elasto Proxy’s application knowledge and technical expertise, the manufacturer also avoided over-specifying the seal material. Military callouts and minimum order quantities (MOQs) increase project costs, so it pays to pick a partner who can identify a less expensive commercial product that’s appropriate.
Elasto Proxy’s water jet cutting machine was the perfect platform for converting 1/8”-thick strips of this silicone foam into precision-cut lengths.
Unlike die cutting, water jet cutting makes fine, fast cuts without tooling. This contains costs, supports quick-turn prototyping, and makes water jet cutting a great choice for low-to-medium volume production. Because the water jet process doesn’t create mechanical stresses in the material, tight tolerances without warping are achievable.
Taping, another gasket fabrication process, also adds value to hatch seals for military vehicles. By gluing the cut lengths end-to-end, Elasto Proxy met the vehicle manufacturer’s design and production requirements. We also delivered taped gaskets or glued gaskets that were ready-to-install. These peel-and-stick products support assembly line or field installation, and prove that we provide complete solutions to military sealing challenges.
For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has supplied North American defense contractors with low-to-medium volume quantities of high-quality rubber and plastic parts. Our first customer, Atlantic Defense Industries, deployed our sealing solutions on the boom hoist for a ten-ton military truck. Since then, Elasto Proxy has won numerous defense-related contracts for projects in Canada and the United States.
As a registered member of Canada’s Controlled Goods Program (CGP), Elasto Proxy meets all requirements for record keeping, training programs, security briefings, and inspections. The Controlled Goods Certificate (CGC) that Elasto Proxy holds demonstrates our commitment to the defense industry, and we work closely with leading trade groups such as the Canadian Association of Defense and Security (CADSI).
Today, Elasto Proxy is a global company with offices and warehouses in Canada and the United States. Our headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec is also our production facility, a place where highly-skilled personnel combine traditional pride in craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technologies. Facilities in Newmarket, Ontario and Simpsonville, South Carolina strengthen our position in the defense supply chain.
We specialize in seals and insulation.
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