Window channels are industrial rubber products that help to secure window frames and hold window glass in place. They eliminate rattling and provide protection against wind, water, dust, and drafts. Applications for window rubber include on-road and off-road vehicles such as heavy trucks, mining and forestry equipment, snowplows, telehandlers, and tractors. Window channels are also used in building and construction projects, and with and mass transit systems like bus and rail.
To prevent leaks and rattling, it’s important to specify window channels that provide secure sealing and that support ease-of-installation. Proper window channel selection starts by understanding how these rubber products are made and which types are available. You’ll also need to define your application requirements and evaluate product specifications. When you’re ready to buy window channels, you can order standard lengths that you cut yourself or choose custom products that arrive ready-to-install.
How Window Channels Are Made
Most window channels are formed through extrusion, a process that creates profiles with complex cross-sections and a smooth surface finish. These industrial rubber products can be either beaded or unbeaded. Beaded window channels contain stainless steel beads that resist rust and support installation without stretching or pulling. Unbeaded glass-run window channels with coated linings are flexible and can be cut to fit tight radiuses. Beading isn’t the only difference between window rubber, however.
Comparing Window Channel Types
There are five main types of window channels:
- Locking channels are two-piece gaskets that lock into position with a lock strip or insert key.
- Self-locking channels are one-piece gaskets that do not require these attachment mechanisms.
- Glazing channels are installed using hand tools and lubrication.
- C-channels are shaped like the letter “C”.
- U-channels are shaped like the letter “U”.
To determine which type of window channel you need, define your application requirements and then evaluate product specifications. It’s also worth comparing the costs of cutting window channels in-house vs. buying custom fabricated products. Don’t just consider the purchase price either. Account for cost of paying a worker to cut the gasket and the opportunity cost of using this worker to cut rubber instead of doing something else. There are overhead costs, too.
Defining Window Channel Requirements
Defining your application requirements means asking and answering a series of questions:
- Do you need rubber that’s harder or softer?
- Do you need rubber that resists only water, or both water and chemicals?
- What are the minimum and maximum service temperatures that the window channel must withstand?
- Will assemblers install your window channels on a production line?
- Will maintenance technicians replace window rubber in the field?
- Do window channels need to meet specific military, automotive, or mass transit industry requirements?
Once you understand what you need, you can compare individual products based on their specifications.
Evaluating Window Channel Specifications
Products specifications include bend radius, material type and durometer, and dimensions and weight. Specify the minimum bend radius that’s needed in the corners of window channels. Otherwise, problems may occur if the window rubber is too soft for a tight radius. Typically, EPDM rubber in durometers from 50 to 80 (Shore A) is used. This synthetic elastomer resists weather, water, sunlight, ozone and a range of outdoor temperatures. Window channel dimensions and weight can affect ease-of-installation.
How to Buy Window Channels
Do you need standard window channels or custom fabricated products? Elasto Proxy keeps hundreds of rubber profiles in stock. We can ship 50-ft. lengths of standard window channels to you on demand, or in response to your sales forecasts. We can also use water jet equipment to cut your window channels to size so that they arrive ready-to-install. Water jet cutting is faster and more precise than manual cutting. There’s less material waste, too.
To request a quote or ask for more information, contact us.