Silicone couplers are molded rubber parts that connect the intake pipes and tubes in diesel-powered vehicles and heavy equipment. These engine components resist high temperatures while providing strength and flexibility. Typically, silicone couplers are used in mobile equipment such as generator sets (gensets), ships and boats, and on-road and off-road equipment for forestry, mining, construction, and agriculture.
Materials of Construction
Silicone rubber provides reliable sealing and insulation, but engineers need to select molded rubber components with care. To meet application-specific requirements, a silicone coupler may require fabric, wire, or liner materials.
Fabric reinforcements typically use polyester or aramid in a four-ply construction for added strength and high-temperature resistance.
Metal wire reinforcements help to protect silicone connectors from extreme pressures, including vacuum pressures that can cause silicone couplers to collapse.
Liner materials impart specialized properties. For example, a fluorocarbon liner can enhance a silicone connector’s resistance to residues from petrochemicals.
Silicone rubber is known for its high-temperature resistance, but engineers need to define their application’s specific temperature range. In addition to heat tolerance, it’s important to specify both the working pressure and the burst pressure. Typically, the burst pressure is four times the working pressure – the recommended maximum pressure for your application.
Industry Standards and Approvals
In some mobile equipment applications, engineers need silicone couplers that meet specific standards or industry requirements. Examples include SAE J20 R1 or SAE J20 R1 H.T. Class A from SAE International. Other standards include TMC RP303B Grade I and Grade II and MIL-SPEC A-A-52426. Various heavy-duty OEM requirements may also apply.
Types of Silicone Couplers
Choosing the right silicone coupler means choosing the right type of product. Categories include silicone elbows, silicone reducers, straight hoses, hump hoses, and wrapped hoses.
Silicone elbows contain a molded bend (the elbow) and provide excellent flexibility. Typically, the angle of the bend is either 45° or 90°. Dimensional specifications include wall thickness, inside diameter, inside radius, and the lengths of legs 1 and 2.
Silicone reducers or silicone reducer hoses provide for a transition between different pipe or tube sizes. Consequently, one end of the silicone coupler is larger than the other. Dimensional specifications include hose inside diameter, hose outside diameter, and length
Straight silicone hoses come in various lengths and can be cut-to-size by your personnel (typically with a razor) or via custom fabrication. Silicone hoses support the use of metal clamps and may contain fabric reinforcements.
Hump hoses support slight intake adjustments and bends. They can also compensate for minor misalignments between metal pipes or tubes. Applications include air metering, throttle body assemblies, and inlets and outlets.
Wrapped hoses provide enhanced pressure resistance. They are wrapped with polyester mesh, fabric, or an additional layer of silicone.
Silicone Connectors from Elasto Proxy
Elasto Proxy can supply the silicone connectors that you need and release quantities on demand or according to your sales forecasts. We maintain warehouses near Montreal and Toronto, Canada, and have a U.S. warehouse in Simpsonville, South Carolina. These facilities are all located near major highway corridors and support fast, efficient shipping.
To provide added value, Elasto Proxy can cut silicone connectors using water jet cutting. This saves time on your assembly line or in the field while reducing material waste from low-quality cuts. Elasto Proxy’s capabilities also include parts marking, kitting, and custom packaging. That’s why the mobile equipment industry asks us for cab and engine insulation, door and window seals, and heat blankets.
Would you like to learn more about silicone connectors? Are you looking for value-added manufacturing? Do you need a complete sealing and insulation solution? To get started, contact Elasto Proxy.