A rubber gasket is basically used as a seal that occupies the gap between two surfaces usually for the purpose of preventing leaking of gases or fluids between these two objects. The rubber gaskets are made for so many products including automobiles, air conditioners, and more types of engines and motors that can be counted.
There are many companies that manufacture rubber gaskets. Here are the steps to manufacturing these sealers:
- The large flat pad of rubber, which is called the “bun”, comes in very thick sheets from the companies that manufacture the rubber.
- These large “buns” have to be cut into thinner sheets so that they can be made into rubber gaskets. In order to cut these “buns” into thinner pads they are loaded into a machine called a “bun splitter”.
- The thinner sheets are set aside and each sheet is removed to begin the process of cutting out the shapes of the rubber gaskets.
- The next step is to laminate the sheets. Each sheet is put into a laminating machine that is pressure and temperature controlled.
- The laminated surface has a layer of paper backing that is pressure sensitive so that it can easily be removed and applied to any type of surface.
- The next step is to load the sheets into the die cutter. The die cutter is programmed for the style and size of gasket that is to be cut. Most manufacturers use a die cutter for standard sizes and shapes of gaskets but if the rubber gaskets are special sizes, unique geometric shapes, or are of non-standard designs, they typically use an oscillating tangential knife head that is attached to the programmable router/die cutter called a multicam CNC (Computer Numerical Control) device. These CNC cutters are the newest generation of die cutters and greatly improved the accuracy of the forms being cut, which increased productivity and efficiency and made this part of the manufacturing process much safer.
- The laminated sheet is then put into the die cutter, which cuts out the assorted rubber gaskets into the specified design.
- Once all the rubber gasket shapes have all been stamped onto the laminated sheets; they are then removed and a person separates the individual rubber gaskets from the webbing at the end of the machine that does the die cutting.
- The last step is to remove the stacks of rubber gaskets and get them ready for shipping to their destination.
Once these large “buns” of rubber have been thinned into sheets, laminated, and the rubber gaskets have been cut by the die cutter, they are ready to be inserted into the specified product. The manufacturers generally have custom die cutting services for specialised parts where they will help with the design, create a prototype cut, run the production is called for in the specifications, and ensure quality control on all the rubber gaskets that are cut. Many can provide ‘kiss-cut” sheets on rolls for faster service and delivery of the rubber gaskets.
By Sarah-Jayne Culver; a Search Consultant at http://www.fdcstudio.co.uk/ providing Digital Marketing Services throughout the UK.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/free-stock/5000534704/