Disclaimer: This content is an example of how you can use different writing styles to liven up dry subjects. While this content may be a valid attempt, it is not necessarily the best route to take when writing about this subject.
Don’t get me wrong. Rubber is a seriously strong material. It is one of the most resistant and flexible building materials in existence, with an endless number of unique compounds and concoctions to work in nearly any situation.
But what if it could get even stronger? What if it could go even further beyond? Well, it can!
Rubber to metal bonding is a process that brings metal and rubber together to create an unstoppable combination. When in the hands of a reliable rubber molder like Qualiform, rubber to metal bonding is like a crossover series with Mr. Fantastic and the Man of Steel.
This process takes rubber molding to a whole new level by giving rubber parts a steel foundation, so they can last longer and perform better than a pure rubber component. Essentially, it gives rubber stronger metal bones.
Rubber works harder with a metal skeleton
Bonding rubber to metal or encapsulating metal in rubber is pretty similar to giving the part a metal skeleton. Think of it this way: If I have a normal rubber part, I have Hugh Jackman. If I bond it to metal, I have Wolverine. It’s that simple.
Wouldn’t you want to have an indestructible, adamantium skeleton? I sure would! And if rubber had a say in the matter, I am sure it would agree.
Steel might not be as tough and resilient as a fictional super-metal, but it definitely gets the job done. In fact, rubber that is bonded to metal will offer far more stability in its application and resilience to environmental factors than rubber alone.
For example, rubber gaskets and seals used in aircraft construction experience extreme vibrations, pressures, and temperatures almost constantly. Without any metal bones, these parts would degrade and fall apart within weeks or even days. Bonding these parts with steel ensures they can withstand the pressure and do their job for as long as possible.
But how do we go about bonding rubber to metal?
Rubber to metal bonding: An origin story
Rubber to metal bonding may not have a dark and brooding backstory like your average comic book hero, but the process is still neat from a manufacturing perspective. In order to bond the rubber to metal, we need to use either injection molding or transfer molding.
An injection you can look forward to
Injection molding is a process that pushes heated rubber into a pre-shaped mold cavity with a reciprocating screw machine or a ram injector. These applicators function as large syringes for rubber that heat the materials as they enter the mold. If you are squeamish about shots, don’t worry. We are here to create rubber parts, not prepare for flu season!
Transfer molding is not much different from injection molding. However, it uses a plunger instead of a screw and cannot heat the rubber as it enters the mold. So, the rubber has to be preheated before entering the plunger.
Clean up so you can do the cool stuff
Before placing the metal in the mold cavity, it needs to be scrubbed down to remove any contaminants on the surface. Then we apply a heat-activated adhesive to the metal, so the rubber can stick to it later.
After prepping the metal, we need to decide whether we are molding a specific area of the metal or completely enveloping it. For encapsulation, we use chaplet pins to hold the metal, but for specific areas, we get to use specialized magnets. The magnets will make the rubber levitate inside the mold cavity as if Magneto has taken an interest in our project. Unfortunately, I do not have a direct line to Ian McKellen, so magnets will have to do.
Quality bonding time
Now, we can start introducing the rubber as we raise temperatures inside the mold cavity. This not only kickstarts the curing process but also activates the adhesive on the metal to form the bond we need to create a strong, reliable product. Then, we just let the part cool and remove it from the cavity to make space for the next one.
There is one extra step we can use to strengthen the rubber a bit more. This process is called “vulcanization.” No, this does not mean Spock is going to make you an honorary alien. This is a curing process that uses sulfur or other curing agents to harden the rubber. While not always necessary, this is just another way to improve the rubber’s performance.
I am making this sound a lot easier than it actually is, so we probably need an expert to help us. But who can we go to to get the job done right?
Start Bonding with Qualiform Today!
Qualiform is a leading provider of custom rubber molding solutions. If you want experts you can trust by your side, this is the team you want to call. In fact, Qualiform is an ISO-Certified manufacturer of rubber components. This means they have proven time and time again that they can deliver products with the highest quality rubber compounds with precision molding techniques.
Want to learn more about rubber to metal bonding and other rubber molding services? Contact Qualiform Rubber Molding today to speak to a rubber molding specialist and get started on your project today!