How Silicone Rubber Is Used for Sealing and Insulation

Silicone RubberHow 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. (more…)

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Silicone Gaskets with High Flex-Fatigue Resistance

Flex Fatigue ResistanceElasto Proxy custom-fabricates silicone gaskets with high flex-fatigue resistance. These specialty gaskets are made of materials that meet the A-A-59588 3B specification for 50, 60, and 70-durometer silicones.

Silicone gaskets have many desirable properties. They’re chemically inert, resistant to ozone and ultraviolet light, offer thermal stability over a wide temperature range, and can repel water and form watertight seals. Silicone rubber is used in a variety of sealing and insulation applications, but some silicones have inadequate flex-fatigue resistance – a measure of a material’s ability to withstand repeated flexing or bending without cracking.

In some industries, however, flex-fatigue resistance is required. For example, aerospace engineers need silicones with high flex-fatigue resistance for door seals, window seals, and vibration-isolating mounts used with alternators, compressors, and assembly bolts. Members of the mobile equipment industry need crack-resistant silicones for engine mounts and exhaust hangers. Designers of aerospace and defense electronics need silicones that can flex without cracking in high-performance keypads. (more…)

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Design Considerations for Acoustic Insulation

Video - Acoustic Insulation Design Considerations
Video – Acoustic Insulation Design Considerations

Technical buyers and design engineers need to evaluate all of their application requirements when specifying acoustic insulation. Sound dampening and sound absorption aren’t the same, and some acoustic materials may not be suitable for specific environments or frequencies.

Noisy equipment can cause hearing loss and result in violations that carry fines and other penalties. In North America, regulatory agencies such as OSHA, NIOSH and the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) establish workplace limits for noise exposure. Yet the fact remains that noise and hearing loss are the second most prevalent self-reported work-related injury, according to the Hearing Research Laboratory at the University of Ottawa.

Noise can also affect perceptions of product quality. That’s why some potential car buyers listen to how a vehicle’s door sounds when it closes. In a sports car, engine noise suggests speed and power. In a tractor, dump track, or military vehicle, loud engine sounds within the cab are unwanted. For technical buyers and design engineers then, noise mitigation can be about enhancing worker safety, ensuring regulatory compliance, improving the customer experience – or all of the above.

Acoustic insulation is essential, but what are some design considerations? In other words, what do buyers and designers need to know? (more…)

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Acoustic Foams for Noise Control in Vehicles and Equipment

Video - Acoustic Foam for Noise Control
Video – Acoustic Foam for Noise Control

Acoustical foams absorb and dampen sounds. Some of these foam rubber materials also provide flame resistance. Product designers need more than just an acoustic foam, however. They need a custom fabricator who can convert stock materials into a custom insulation solution.

Acoustic foams are used for sound absorption and sound dampening in applications such as military vehicles, commercial trucking, and equipment enclosures. They’re usually made of silicone, urethane, or foam-based melamine. Some acoustical foams offer additional properties, such as thermal resistance or fire resistance. For specialized applications, acoustical foams can be added as layers within “insulation sandwiches” that also contain fillers, adhesives, and barrier materials. (more…)

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