Sustainability, renewable resources and environmental awareness aren’t just buzzwords to toss up on a website. Today, the world is more aware than ever of the effects of human activity on our planet. With humans speeding climate change up to 170 times faster than natural forces, organizations have a responsibility to find ways to be more sustainable, even if there’s a cost associated with it. In the past, manufacturing was a notorious culprit of industrial pollution. Now, with so many new sustainable technologies out there, industry has an opportunity to shrink its footprint and invest in the future. Of course, the short-term setup costs can be intimidating. But in the long run, investments in green manufacturing technologies can save money and keep our planet healthy. A win-win!
Early on, in my career as a Tool Engineer, I had the opportunity to work extensively with compression molds and the compression molding process. At the time, rubber compression molding was an ideal way to produce the O-rings and seals made in the silicone, fluorosilicone, and nitrile elastomers that my customers wanted.
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Gaskets are everywhere and all engineers today understand their importance in the creation of reliable, quality products. Die cut gaskets are used in everything from medical equipment; to military hardware; to the hand-held devices that most of us now carry 24 hours a day. Effective gaskets are designed to shield sensitive electronic components from the environment, vibration, heat, dust, electromagnetic inference, and the nemesis of all electronics – water.
EMI gaskets can be fabricated through a variety of methods. The most common techniques tend to be die cutting and compression molding. Some shielding gaskets, such as EMI O-rings, can be cut by hand and then cold-spliced or vulcanized. Water jet cutting and digital or die-less cutting are also used in EMI gasket fabrication. These methods are good choices for prototyping and lower-volume production because there’s no custom tooling.
Nickel-graphite silicones are cost-effective compounds that combine the advantages of silicone rubber with the electrical properties of nickel. They are fabricated into gaskets and installed between metal surfaces to provide limited environmental sealing, excellent electrical conductivity, and resistance against electromagnetic interference (EMI). Nickel-graphite silicones aren’t the only shielding elastomers for EMI gaskets, but they offer advantages over silicones that are filled with silver or silver-coated particles. To determine whether nickel-graphite silicones are right for your sealing and shielding application, it’s important to evaluate all of your business and technical requirements.
From time to time, while working as an Applications Engineer at LORD Corporation, I would get a call from a customer who was concerned the bond would fail on the vibration isolator mounts they were considering using. After all, a vibration mount is a rubber-to-metal bonded product in which an adhesive bonding process is used to manufacture it. I could easily see how this would be a concern, especially if someone doesn’t often deal with adhesives or is not familiar with the rubber-to-metal bonding process. During these conversations, when I point out LORD uses its Chemlok® adhesive in the bonding process, the customer is immediately reassured that the bond on a vibration isolation mount is most certainly not the weak link. Want a top-quality and high performing solution for your next application? Download the LORD Catalog! In this article we’re going to explore the typical 5 step process used to bond or vulcanize rubber to metal.