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MRAP to MTAP: Rubber Gaskets for Military Vehicles

Have you ever wondered why the military uses so many acronyms? It's because soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines need to convey information quickly, accurately, and efficiently. That's why suppliers to the defense industry are also more likely to hear a term such as “MRAP” than the phrase “mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle”.  For defense contractors who want to win new business, mastering these acronyms can be like learning a new language.

Like any specialized discipline, gasket design has its own language, too. For example, many rubber gaskets are made of synthetic elastomers with names such as Buna-N and EPDM. Published specifications such as ASTM D2000 use letters and numbers to “call out” the properties of vulcanized rubber in a highly-structured way. Units of measure such as durometer (hardness) are sometimes unfamiliar, so buyers and designers may need assistance in order to translate the language of rubber into project specifications. That's just part of how Elasto Proxy can help.

MTAP for Military Gaskets

MTAP MRAPAs an experienced provider of military gaskets and insulation, Elasto Proxy specializes in the custom fabrication of low-to-medium volume quantities of high-quality rubber parts. For over 25 years, we’ve worked hard to earn the trust of the North American defense community. Our first customer, Atlantic Defense Industries, was a military contractor that built the boom hoist on a ten-ton truck.

Since then, we’ve supplied the makers of military vehicles with custom-fabricated components such as spliced and molded window gaskets, acoustic and thermal insulation, and vibration mounts. By listening to our defense industry partners and analyzing all of their needs, we've created sealing and insulation solutions that can withstand extreme conditions ranging from desert heat to arctic cold. In the process, we’ve invented an acronym (MTAP) that describes what engineers need to know during compound selection and custom fabrication.

M is for Media

The M in MTAP stands for Media. This includes fuels, chemicals, and any cleaning-type solutions that may be applied to a rubber product. For example, the rubber gasket on a tanker truck’s fuel door must provide gasoline or diesel fuel resistance, depending on the type of engine. For that matter, the window gaskets used in personnel carriers must resist chemical warfare agents (CWA) and support decontamination procedures that remove or neutralize these hazardous substances.

T is for Temperature

The T in MTAP stands for Temperature, another important consideration since this may limit which rubber materials you can use. If you’re designing a door seal for an armored vehicle, does the military plan to deploy the equipment to a variety of environments? If so, you’ll need to design the door gaskets with minimum and maximum service temperatures in mind. For products such as engine bay insulation, continuous operating temperature may be a key technical specification.

A is for Application

The A in MTAP stand for Application, a term to consider carefully so that you can support the mission. If you’re designing rubber gaskets for the doors and windows on military vehicles, do you need to account for specific flange types, flange materials, or metal fasteners? If the application is bolt-grade, what do the drawings show about the pattern? For example, is it circular and four-bolt? EMI gaskets are different than door seals, and military electronics may require particle-filled shielding silicones. For all of your sealing and insulation needs, Elasto Proxy is ready to assist.

P is for Pressure

Finally, the P in MTAP stands for Pressure. Depending on where the rubber gasket will be used, there may be several specifications to consider. If the gasket is designed for use with a metal tank, what is the system or internal pressure? If the rubber seal is for a pump, what’s the operating pressure? Maximum pressure is also important to specify in order to avoid seal failure. As with temperature, application, and media, gasket designers need a complete understanding of pressure as a design variable.