Posted on: 24 July 2018
Few components are as important in many industrial machines as the rubber grommets and inserts. Designed to provide protection and absorb impact, these rubber components are crucial to your equipment up-time and your production process. If you have recently taken over as shop manager and you're getting ready to place your first order for some of these rubber components, there are some things you need to know. Here are a couple of key considerations for ordering custom rubber parts.
What Kind Of Compression Will It Face?
One of the things you need to think about as you're choosing the rubber for your custom parts is what kind of compression that rubber component is going to be subjected to. Rubber comes in many different hardness levels, and those measurements are expressed in numerical form. The higher the number, the harder the rubber.
Harder rubber can stand up to compression better, because it resists deformation. Otherwise, the rubber might suffer compression set. That's what happens when rubber's shape is permanently altered due to compression. The prolonged pressure at certain temperatures can cause some rubber to hit this compression set, and when that happens, the rubber component will have to be replaced. Compression set strips the rubber of its ability to return to its original shape, which can lead to seal failures and leaks in the areas where the rubber is placed.
What Will It Be Exposed To?
Another thing you need to carefully consider is what the rubber will be exposed to on a regular basis. Remember that rubber can be vulnerable to damage from exposure to certain things, such as chemicals and environmental factors. Recognizing these threats will help you determine what type of rubber you need.
Take time to evaluate the machines that you're dealing with and make sure of what chemicals are in any fluids in those machines. For example, you may need rubber that can withstand exposure to things like engine oil, fuel oil, hydraulic fluid, and more. You'll have to provide your rubber parts manufacturer with details about the concentration of the chemicals and the duration of time that the rubber is exposed to it.
Environmental exposure is just as important. Think about what kinds of environmental factors you need to consider. Some rubber will dry, crack, and crumble when it faces prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, such as if the rubber is used in something outdoors. Extreme temperatures can cause softening, cracking, drying, and more problems as well, so think about what kind of temperature is common in your facility.
What Kind Of Tolerance Is There?
The tolerance, or the variation in the size of your rubber parts, is another key factor. You need to be sure that you know what kind of tolerance there is for the parts you're ordering. The last thing you need is to order custom parts and have them arrive with a tolerance that's too large for the space you're trying to put them in. Sometimes, a tolerance that's acceptable for flat metal pieces is actually highly problematic in rubber parts.
Careful measurement of the existing rubber parts and the space where they're being installed is key. If the tolerance isn't correct, you may find that the machine won't form the seal that it has to in order to maintain the pressure in the lines correctly. Take the time to make sure you know exactly how much space you have to work with so that you don't find yourself with something you have to shave or otherwise alter to get it to fit.
Now that you understand some of the key elements to choosing the right rubber components, you can reach out to a local custom rubber parts manufacturer to get the parts that you need.Share