Rubber parts may be an afterthought with demolition excavators, but there are consequences and costs to sealing and insulation defects. Leaky door and window gaskets can admit rain or snow that wets floors and seats. Using inadequate thermal or acoustic insulation can also diminish operator comfort and put safety at risk. From the cabin to the engine bay, demolition excavators need quality rubber components.
Rubber gaskets for demolition excavators need to provide both environmental sealing and acoustic insulation. Seals that admit wind, water, dirt, and outdoor temperatures are ineffective, but so are gaskets that fail to absorb road noise. In addition to quality, manufacturers need to consider labor and material costs. Ease-of-installation and the added value a gasket fabricator can provide are also worth considering.
Seal design follows a formula with three basic elements: compound, hardness, and profile. Use a compound, or type of rubber, that can withstand tough outdoor environments. Harder rubber provides greater impact resistance but can make it more difficult for a door or window to close. Softer rubber provides greater cushioning but is more prone to compression set, or permanent deformation. Profile refers to the shape of the gasket material, which is extruded into coils or lengths.
Cutting and bonding your own gaskets may seem inexpensive enough until you consider the true costs. If a worker cuts a profile incorrectly, the mis-cut become material waste. Asking a higher-paid employee such as a welder to cut and bond rubber adds excessive labor costs. Attaching gaskets with hand tools or messy liquid adhesives extends assembly times. Outsourced fabrication that’s combined with gasket taping, kitting, parts marking, and custom packaging can add value instead.
Engine insulation for demolition excavators keeps heat and noise from the engine bay from reaching the cabin where the operator sits. Thermal insulation protects the cab from high temperatures that can cause driver discomfort and damage electronics. Acoustic insulation dampens sound-induced vibrations that can loosen fasteners and harm human hearing.
Thermal-acoustic insulation can provide equipment manufacturers with a complete solution. It consists of specialized materials that are assembled into a sandwich-like structure. The top layer is an aluminum facing or metallized Mylar that’s laminated to an elastomeric foam. This facing reflects radiant heat and withstands water and engine oil.
The middle of this insulation sandwich consists of a layer of hard rubber that stops loud engine sounds and a layer of acoustic foam for additional sound absorption. The bottom layer uses a pressure-sensitive adhesive with a removable liner. Taped insulation installs easily and eliminates the health and safety concerns of adhesive spraying.
Sealing and Insulation for Demolition Excavators
Like the gaskets in the cabin, engine insulation needs quality fabrication. Otherwise, potential buyers may assume that poor-quality rubber parts reflect larger design flaws. Sealing and insulation fails in the field may require replacement that results in equipment downtime. Sealing and insulation success is readily achievable, however, so remember to make rubber parts more than an afterthought.
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