The manufacturing processes behind our rubber gaskets
Posted on 10/11/2015 Category: Rubber gaskets
Martin’s Rubber has a dedicated Gasket Manufacturing facility that not only gives us the flexibility to execute a wide range of cutting and punching processes and materials, but also allows us to produce a huge variety of products in small to medium volume for many different industries. Here’s our guide to the various stages of our gasket manufacturing process works.
Gasket Punching is a traditional process established in the 1800s whereby a Rule Forme (a special steel strip bent into the desired shape with the bottom edge sharpened into a blade) is forced through a sheet of gasket or shim material and slightly into a sacrificial cutting board below, by means of a hydraulic or power press. The resulting shape contained inside the cutter is the finished gasket or shim. Originally used widely in the shoe industry, these Rule Formes are either one piece forgings for extended production runs, or bent Rule set in plywood backing sheets which can be rapidly manufactured. The resulting shape pinched out of the parent material is consistently sized and repeatable. Hole punches are also fitted in the appropriate places to simultaneously create any required holes in the gasket. Low or high volume parts can be produced with semi-automated repetition machinery and kiss-cutting to produce reels of parts. This can often be a convenient method of handling small punched parts. Standard cutters are available for products such as flange and joint gaskets to BS EN 12560, and special cutters for bespoke parts can be manufactured in 48 hours.
Water Jetting involves a very high pressure jet of water approximately 0.1mm diameter being blown through a sheet of parent material to cut it, driven around the sheet via a CNC controller. This technique allows soft or hard, solid or cellular materials to be cut rapidly into an infinite variety of shapes very quickly, and without the deformation often found in the punching methods. However materials that absorb water clearly are not suitable for this process.
A process very similar to water jetting, but replacing the water jet with a laser. The benefits are very similar, although the wetting problem may be replaced by an equivalent flammability problem.
The most traditional yet still effective method. Martin’s Rubber is still called on daily to hand-mark out shapes in sheet material, then use knives and saddle punches to create special or large gaskets for customers.
A rotary knife press cuts long sheets of material into strip form using a series of circular rotation knives, with the distance between each blade being set to determine the width of the strip produced. Still a very efficient way of converting sheet material into a finished product.
We employ dedicated skilled finishers to ensure that your product is not only manufactured, but also trimmed, finished and packed to the excellence that we maintain throughout our manufacturing cells, meaning that there is a level of craftsmanship akin to the quality level you would expect. Contact us today on 023 8022 6330, or email [email protected], for more details about our entire range of rubber gaskets and shims.
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