Silicone connectors are molded rubber parts that connect the intake pipes and tubes in diesel-powered vehicles and equipment. These engine components resist high temperatures while providing strength and flexibility. Typically, silicone connectors are used in mobile equipment such as generator sets (gensets), ships and boats, and on-road and off-road equipment for forestry, mining, construction, and agriculture. Continue reading
Mobile Specialty Vehicles
Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs): Rubber Gaskets for UGV Electronics, Doors and Hatches, and Cameras and LED Lights
Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) need rubber UGV gaskets that can help protect sensitive electronics from high heat. UGVs also need weather-resistant door and hatch seals, and custom gaskets for cameras and LED lights that can handle extreme temperatures while keeping out water and dust. Manufacturers of UGV electronics, vehicle bodies, and imaging systems must meet different requirements, but custom fabrication can solve sealing and insulation challenges across the UGV supply chain.
Elasto Proxy, a global supplier of specialty rubber products, custom-fabricates the rubber gaskets that unmanned systems need. In this article, the second in a series about unmanned vehicles, Elasto Proxy examines three types of UGV gaskets: thermally-conductive insulation, environmental seals, and rubber gaskets for cameras and LED lights. Part 1 of this series covered UAV gaskets. Future articles will examine seals and insulation for USVs, UUVs, commercial drones, and unmanned system accessories. Continue reading
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): Rubber Gaskets for Sealing, Flex-Fatigue Resistance, and EMI Shielding
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) need rubber gaskets that can protect UAV components from environmental conditions, flexural fatigue, and electromagnetic interference (EMI). Manufacturers of antennas, avionics, and airframes face different sealing and insulation challenges, but custom fabrication offers the UAV supply chain a value-added solution. Elasto Proxy, a leading supplier of specialty rubber products, custom-fabricates the rubber gaskets that unmanned systems need.
In this article, the first in a series about unmanned vehicles, Elasto Proxy examines three types of UAV gaskets: UAV antenna gaskets, silicone gaskets with high flex-fatigue resistance, and EMI shielding gaskets. Future articles in this series will examine EPDM gaskets and foam insulation for UAV cases, and sealing and insulation solutions for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), and commercial drones. Continue reading
Electric scooters need rubber gaskets and plastic parts for sealing and insulation. Examples of these e-scooter components include gaskets for headlights, tail lights, brake lights, key locks, and valve stems; engine seals and EMI shielding; rubber flooring; and plastic body parts such as deck plates and pedals. Electric scooter designs vary, but vehicles from hoverboards and electric bicycles to mobility scooters and electric tricycles all need custom seals and insulation.
For product designers and electric scooter manufacturers, however, finding the right partner to supply e-scooter parts can be challenging. Some companies require high minimum order quantities (MOQs) or have long lead times. Others use expensive tooling and don’t offer design assistance or help with material selection. Ordering rubber gaskets and plastic parts from a “low-cost” supplier may seem like a bargain, but your total cost of ownership is higher than just the per-piece price. Continue reading
Heat blankets for mobile equipment support engine performance, operator comfort, and pollution control. In diesel-powered equipment, heat blankets wrap around the exhaust pipe that’s under the hood. These exhaust blankets keep heat from spreading to nearby engine components and into the cab where the operator sits. Within the exhaust system itself, hotter gases help to deliver more power and better mileage. Higher exhaust system temperatures also eliminate pollutants more effectively.
To handle the high temperatures from diesel exhaust systems, heat blankets are cut from silicone-coated fiberglass fabric or other heat-resistant cloth. They are sewn with high-temperature thread made of Kevlar or fiberglass, and can have metal snaps or Velcro fasteners for ease-of-installation. Elasto Proxy custom-fabricates heat blankets for mobile equipment and works with diesel equipment owners who need to achieve Tier 4 compliance, a strict pollution control standard from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Continue reading
Rubber gaskets for mobile equipment provide sealing and insulation for doors and windows. They prevent the entry of outside air and water, but also absorb road and engine noise. For mobile equipment manufacturers, the right rubber gaskets need to provide both environmental sealing and acoustic insulation. Otherwise, unwanted sounds can enter the cab where the operator sits. Seals that admit wind, water, dirt, or outdoor temperatures are problematic, but so is mobile equipment insulation that fails to reduce noise levels.
Gasket quality is important, but design engineers and sourcing managers also need to consider material costs. This includes not just the gasket rubber, but also the method of attachment, such as clips, fasteners, or liquid adhesives. Engineers and buyers also need to consider the tools, skills, and capabilities of the personnel who will install rubber gaskets for mobile equipment. Outsourcing your gasket fabrication may seem expensive, but consider your true costs. Continue reading
Rubber floor mats for mobile equipment protect the cabin floor, support employee safety, and provide acoustic insulation. The metal flooring that’s used inside the cab is strong and durable, but operators track mud, snow, dirt, and water inside. Rubber floor mats protect these metal surfaces and help reduce slip-and-fall hazards. Rubber flooring that’s laminated to acoustic insulation also helps to absorb noise from the engine compartment, which is often directly below the cab where the operator sits.
Unlike carpeting, rubber floor matting won’t stain. Rubber is also easier-to-clean and offers greater wear resistance than fabric. In a mobile equipment cab, an operator’s feet may remain in the same position for extended periods of time. With carpet floor mats, heel wear can cause holes in the fabric. This exposes the subfloor, introduces a potential safety hazard, and provides a path for engine sounds. Rubber flooring can also be used as a kick-plate to protect cab walls from contact with an operator’s boots. Continue reading
Engine bay insulation for mobile equipment keeps heat and noise in the engine compartment from reaching the cab interior. The diesel engines that power mobile equipment run hot and loud, which raises concerns about occupant comfort, health, and safety. Mobile equipment manufacturers also need to protect cabin components such as instruments from sound-induced vibrations. For a complete engine bay solution, Elasto Proxy makes thermal-acoustic insulation that can also dampen vibrations.
With mobile equipment, the cab where the operator sits is right next to the engine compartment. Unless adequate engine bay insulation is attached to the firewall, heat and sound from the engine will spread to the cabin. Cab insulation helps, but you need a complete solution. Elasto Proxy makes firewall insulation, and also fabricates insulation that’s installed under the cabin floor. This thermal-acoustic insulation is important in mobile equipment designs where the cab is directly above the engine compartment. Continue reading
Cab insulation for mobile equipment absorbs sound and provides a finished appearance to cabin interiors. Headliners, door panels, and side panels are made of perforated vinyl foams that, depending on the amount of cabin noise, are typically 1/2” or 1” thick. This acoustic insulation can be hand-cut and applied with spray adhesives, but that process is labor-intensive, results in material waste, and raises health and safety concerns. Fortunately, there’s a better way to get the cab insulation that you need.
Elasto Proxy uses value-added manufacturing to create custom cab insulation for mobile equipment. Water jet cutting makes precise cuts with straight lines or chamfered angles. Taping replaces adhesive spraying with peel-and-stick installation. Kitting, parts marking, and packaging put everything your installers need at their fingertips. Elasto Proxy offers design assistance and help with material selection, too. By choosing cab insulation from Elasto Proxy, you’ll save time and money while improving quality. Continue reading
Mobile equipment insulation absorbs sound and deflects heat, helping to keep drivers and operators safe and comfortable. Materials of construction vary, but generally include foams, foils, and facings. For mobile equipment manufacturers, the process of cutting, assembling, and installing thermal insulation and acoustic insulation can result in material waste and concerns about product quality. Manufacturers risk losing sight of their true costs, and potential buyers may notice imperfections in cab and vehicle interiors.
Manufacturing Costs and Quality
Buyers who closely examine a product’s details can draw positive or negative conclusions about overall quality. Door seals that are bonded properly make a good first impression. So does cab insulation that’s cleanly cut and neatly installed. Insulation that’s cut from a template with a utility knife or a box cutter may seem cost-effective, but do potential buyers see uneven cuts and gaps between parts? How much material gets scrapped when installers struggle to make straight or chamfered cuts? Continue reading