Rubber Floor Mats Reduce Wear, Danger, and Noise

Rubber Floor MatsRubber floor mats for mobile equipment protect cabin floors from damage and operators from slip-and-fall hazards. Rubber flooring that’s laminated to acoustic insulation also absorbs noise from the engine compartment, which is often directly below the cab where the operator sits. Rubber matting can even be used as a kick-plate to protect cabin walls from contact with an operator’s boots.

For mobile equipment manufacturers, choosing the right type of cabin flooring is an important design consideration. The metal floors that are used inside a cab are durable, but operators track mud, snow, dirt, and water inside. Rubber floor mats can protect these metal surfaces from rust, corrosion, and scratching. Sheet metal flooring can become slippery, but rubber surfaces can offer surer footing.

As manufacturers are discovering, rubber floor mats are part of a complete cabin solution that promotes operator safety and equipment performance. By understanding how rubber flooring is designed and made, manufacturers can determine if a custom-fabricated solution is the right choice. For starters, however, engineers may want to compare rubber to other flooring materials. Continue reading Rubber Floor Mats Reduce Wear, Danger, and Noise

Industry 4.0 for the Real World

Industry 4.0Industry 4.0 is a catchphrase and buzzword that you can no longer afford to ignore. This fourth phase of the Industrial Revolution isn’t just about the increased digitization of manufacturing. It’s not just about advances in automation either. Industry 4.0 could change how your company competes and whether or not you’ll continue to win. Industry 4.0 isn’t just about technology. It’s about profitability. Continue reading Industry 4.0 for the Real World

Abrasive Water Jet Cutting vs. Guillotine Cutting for 45° Cuts on Bulb Trim Seals

Abrasive Water Jet CuttingAbrasive water jet cutting and guillotine cutting can both produce 45° cuts on bulb trim seals, industrial rubber products that may contain metal wires. Abrasive water jet cutting uses a high-velocity, high-pressure stream of water and abrasive to cut through rubber, metal, and many other materials. Guillotine cutting uses a miter saw or metal blade instead. Like abrasive water jet cutting, guillotine cutting can cut through rubber profiles that contain metal reinforcements.

For buyers of bulb trim seals, choosing the right cutting method involves a comparison of manufacturing costs. Compared to guillotine cutting, abrasive water jet cutting has higher hourly rates. Yet abrasive water jet cutting can also produce higher volumes of better quality cuts in less time. Cutting a 45° angle is challenging, even for an experienced guillotine operator. If the employee cuts too quickly, the wires won’t cut cleanly. This requires surface finishing, which adds labor costs and extends cycle times.

As this article explains, abrasive water jet cutting can cost less than guillotine cutting for 45° cuts on bulb trim seals. Let’s look at an example to understand why this is the case. Continue reading Abrasive Water Jet Cutting vs. Guillotine Cutting for 45° Cuts on Bulb Trim Seals

Solid Rubber vs. Sponge Rubber: What’s the Difference?

sponge rubber solid rubberWhat’s the difference between solid rubber and sponge rubber? Both are elastomers, natural or synthetic polymers with elastic properties. Both are also subjected to vulcanization, a process that uses heat and a chemical agent such as sulfur to improve durability. Solid rubber and sponge rubber are available in many of the same compounds, such as EPDM, silicone, and neoprene. They can be extruded into the same shapes or molded into sheets, too.

At the most basic level, the difference between solid rubber and sponge rubber is about air. Sponge rubber contains balloon-like cells or interconnected pockets that either hold air or permit its passage. Solid rubber doesn’t share this cellular structure. Both types of materials provide sealing and insulation, but sponge rubber provides better cushioning. Solid rubber provides stronger impact resistance. Each type of elastomer has its advantages then, but what else do engineers need to know? Continue reading Solid Rubber vs. Sponge Rubber: What’s the Difference?

The Top 7 Sealing and Insulation Posts of 2017

Best-of-2017The Elasto Proxy Blog is starting the New Year with a quick look back at how we helped readers solve their sealing and insulation challenges in 2017. Whether you’re new to the Blog or a veteran reader of our 275 posts, we hope you’ll enjoy this review and will let us know what you’d like to read about in 2018.

Here are the top sealing and insulation posts of 2017. Continue reading The Top 7 Sealing and Insulation Posts of 2017

Bulb Trim Seal Compounds, Colors, and Approvals

Bulb Trim Seal Compounds, Colors, and ApprovalsBulb trim seal compounds, colors, and approvals may surprise you.

Bulb trim seals don’t just come in EPDM rubber. They’re available in colors besides black, too. That’s good news if you need to use recyclable materials, or if you’re searching for colorful sealing solutions to complement distinctive product designs. Bulb trim seals that contain EPDM aren’t all the same either. Some meet specific industry or regulatory standards. Others are made of harder or softer rubber.

Do you need bulb trim seals for doors, hatches, or enclosures? In this week’s blog entry, Elasto Proxy’s last for 2017, we’ll finish the year with a flourish – and with a look at some of the compounds, colors, and approvals for bulb trim seals. Black EPDM gaskets are available if you need them, but procurement and engineering personnel may have more choices in compounds than they may realize. Continue reading Bulb Trim Seal Compounds, Colors, and Approvals

Bulb Trim Seals: Three Things Engineers Need to Know

Bulb Trim SealsBulb trim seals are used with doors, hatches, and enclosures. They have two sections: the bulb and the retainer. The bulb section provides sealing and insulation under compressive force. The trim or retainer section presses onto a flange or substrate.

Elasto Proxy supplies many different types of industrial rubber products, but there are three things about bulb trim seals that engineers need to know. Continue reading Bulb Trim Seals: Three Things Engineers Need to Know

Molded Corners for Rubber Gaskets

Molded Corners for Rubber GasketsMolded corners for rubber gaskets are recommended for applications that require rounded joints, the ability to withstand stretching, or high cycle times. Molding is more expensive than hot splicing or vulcanization, but it’s the only way to create radisued corners. C-press injection molding, a bonding method for rubber gaskets, is ideal for low-to-medium volume quantities but suitable only for solid profiles.

By understanding how C-press injection molding works and the advantages that molded corners provide, engineers can make strong decisions about gasket fabrication. In this article, the second in a series from Elasto Proxy, we’ll continue our coverage of joining methods. Next week’s content, the last in our series, will examine cold bonding. Continue reading Molded Corners for Rubber Gaskets

Hot Splicing and Vulcanizing for Rubber Gaskets

Hot Splicing

Hot splicing and vulcanizing for rubber gaskets are bonding techniques that use heat, pressure, and a film splice or uncured rubber to join the ends of profiles. Hot splicing uses thin polyethylene (PE) film and either a conventional heating source or infrared (IR) light. Vulcanization uses an uncured rubber compound, along with heat and pressure. Both hot splicing and vulcanization create chemical bonds at the molecular level.

For engineers, choosing a splicing method for rubber gaskets is an important manufacturing decision. By balancing costs against capabilities, you can get the sealing and insulation solutions that you really need.  Traditional hot splicing, infrared or IR splicing, and vulcanization all have their advantages, but they also have their differences. In this article, the first in a series from Elasto Proxy, we’ll examine each of these bonding techniques in detail. Future articles will cover molded corners and cold bonding. Continue reading Hot Splicing and Vulcanizing for Rubber Gaskets

FDA Gasket Materials for Food Contact Applications

FDA Gasket MaterialsFDA gasket materials are used in food contact applications such as commercial kitchens. They meet strict standards from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a regulatory agency that’s responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety and quality of many food products. The FDA’s jurisdiction is limited to the United States, but FDA standards are followed worldwide.

FDA gasket materials for food contact applications are subjected to rigorous testing. They are non-toxic, non-marking, non-allergenic, and reliable over a wide range of temperatures. These compounds are also tasteless, odorless, and resistant to the natural growth of bacteria. Not all food-grade rubber is FDA approved, however, so it’s important to choose gasket materials with care. Continue reading FDA Gasket Materials for Food Contact Applications