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Taking the Guesswork out of Rubber Molding & Compounding

12 Commonly Used Elastomers for Molded Rubber Applications: Part 1 – General Purpose Elastomers

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

6/21/16 10:00 AM

 

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Thermoset elastomers, commonly known as rubber, are the best materials for a wide variety of industrial applications, due to their ability to provide both flexibility and durability. However, elastomers are complex materials, which must be chosen carefully and compounded to fit the part’s function and the molding process required.

This two-part blog series provides an overview of elastomer families and specifications on 12 of the most popular types of elastomers for industrial applications of molded rubber parts.

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Topics: Elastomer Compounds

Answers to Eight FAQs about Molded Rubber for OEMs

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

6/2/16 10:00 AM

Manufacturers in a wide variety of industries rely on molded rubber parts for high performance in their products. With rubber being only one of many materials used in developing a new product, OEM engineers and purchasing managers pose similar questions about how elastomers work and which rubber material is right for their application. Following are answers to eight questions that OEMs often ask.

 

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Topics: custom rubber molding

Four Considerations in Designing Molded Rubber Parts Versus Molded Plastic Parts

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

1/12/16 2:11 PM

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With the lines blurring between the use of thermoset elastomers or rubber and thermoplastic elastomers in product design, what distinguishes rubber from plastic in the context of micro-precision, molded parts? Although product designers may think that a part design using thermoset elastomers is interchangeable with plastic, the chemical properties and molding characteristics of the two are very different, requiring parts designed to suit the material. 

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Topics: custom rubber molding

Military Equipment Demands Quality in Every Molded Rubber Part

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

11/11/15 7:00 AM

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For mission-critical military vehicles and armaments, every molded rubber part must be absolutely reliable, functioning time after time in life-and-death situations. Manufacturers of military equipment and their suppliers need to work closely to develop parts that can stand up to the harshest operating environments while meeting U.S. and international regulations for quality.

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Topics: Industry: Military

Four Critical Operations in Custom Rubber Molding for Miniature Pneumatics Applications

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

11/2/15 11:51 AM

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Miniature pneumatic parts made from custom rubber molding are powering a growing number of new medical devices, laboratory equipment and other devices that employ fluid power in small packages. These important components are responsible for controlling the flow and pressure of air and gases in such uses as ventilators, oxygen compressors and gas detectors. Rubber molding is often used to create seals and valves in miniature pneumatic parts that are required to function well in challenging environments, time after time.

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Topics: Miniature Molded Rubber Parts

Temperature Extremes for Molded Rubber Applications

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

10/26/15 8:00 AM

From the blazing heat of the deserts, where temperatures exceed +115F, to the frigid polar ice caps, where lows dip to –80F, molded rubber applications have to perform regardless of the weather. Even greater temperature extremes are found in the operating environments of vehicles with internal combustion engines, which contain molded rubber parts – from automobiles and heavy trucks to oil rigs, ships, and even aerospace vehicles. 

Not all materials can take the heat and the cold of such harsh environments. As a result, rubber materials must be selected and compounded to meet the operating demands of each molded rubber application to ensure flexibility and durability. 

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Topics: Temperature Resistant Elastomers

How Rubber to Metal Bonding Differs from Bonding Rubber to Plastic

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

9/23/15 7:00 AM

Rubber-Plastic-Bonding

For decades, industrial design has relied upon rubber to metal bonding to create strong parts. With the rise of engineered thermoplastics, product designers discovered a new family of materials that could stand up to both the molding environment and the operating environment. However, substituting plastic for metal in rubber bonding is not a simple swap and requires careful consideration of the costs and anticipated production volumes, the molding process, and the materials.

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Topics: Insert Molding / Overmolding

Vehicles fueled with CNG, LNG and LPG require heavy-duty custom rubber molding

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

8/20/15 10:00 AM

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Alternative fuel vehicles are hot. Despite the recent dip in oil and diesel fuel prices, natural gas is finding growing applications in the transportation sector – from ships to rail to buses and trucks to mining and drilling equipment. 

As the types of vehicles that can now run on natural gas or dual fuel systems are expanding, specialized custom rubber molding techniques and elastomer compounds are being developed to stand up to the punishing operating conditions of vehicles fueled by natural gas and other alternative fuels.

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Topics: Industry: CNG/LNG/LPG

Growing demand for home care medical devices requires miniaturized molded rubber parts

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

7/27/15 7:00 AM

home-care-molded-rubber-parts

Powerful trends are converging to make medical devices smaller, more efficient and in greater demand. The population is aging, insurers and providers are looking to reduce the cost of care, and more health care is being delivered at home. As a result, manufacturers are miniaturizing medical devices to make them portable and even wearable. In turn, manufacturers are requiring custom molded rubber parts that will perform reliably in the smallest devices. As a result, the engineering of a tiny molded rubber part is becoming more complex and calls for specialized capabilities from rubber molders.

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Topics: Industry: Home Care, Miniature Molded Rubber Parts

Six steps to ensuring bond strength in rubber to metal bonding

Posted by Brian Barhorst, Vice President, Flexan Corporation

6/24/15 3:59 PM

Rubber-Metal-Bonding

Rubber in its many forms has the ability to bond to metals of all kinds. In fact, bonded rubber is stronger than in its original state, which may be why manufacturers in many industries rely on rubber to metal bonding for their components. Rubber not only produces a very strong bond on metal, but it also can be used to combine several parts into a single assembly.

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Topics: Insert Molding / Overmolding