Designing Rubber Parts To Last

The great thing about rubber is that it can be shaped into a wide variety of things. This makes it possible for rubber to be used for all softs of things, such as keyboard keys, weatherstripping and grommets. Rubber parts can look the same, but they may fail as a result of defects in their design. If the rubber is not engineered properly, it can fail as a result of high temperatures, temperature fluctuations, fading, abrasions, chemicals or flaring. There are design decisions you can make to ensure that the custom part you order is resistant to all of these problems. 

Design Problems

The problems found in rubber products may be the result of poor workmanship. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your rubber comes from a company that is committed to using the best craftsmanship that will last for a long time. It is essential that the right process or elastomer is used. You will want to understand the manufacturing method that is used in order to know the results that you will see. For example, you will need to know the difference between compression molding and waterjet cutting. The company will typically ask for you to provide CAD files. Or, the company may provide you with unique CAD software so that you can design the files yourself.

Designing a part that is made from rubber is similar to designing other types of parts. You will want to keep the part simple. Do not have thick regions. Make sure that it does not have tight tolerances. By choosing the right design options, your custom rubber parts will be less likely to wear out. 

Sacrificial Protectants

If you will be placing your rubber parts under extreme conditions, there are other approaches that can be taken to make your rubber parts last longer. An extreme heat protection fire sleeve can protect your rubber parts from very high temperatures. There are special coatings that can protect rubber from abrasions and fading. Adding carbon black can protect rubber from UV rays and chemicals. The carbon black acts as a sacrificial material that only protects the rubber until it wears. The carbon black also absorbs the UV rays and dissipates it as heat. A wax-based sacrificial protectant can also shield your rubber part from the ozone. Communicate to the custom rubber parts manufacturer , like Accurate Products Inc., about the conditions the part will be placed under in order to receive recommendations on how to protect them.