06/01/2008
Innovation in Silicone Seals

To meet a challenge facing the automotive industry, Lauren Manufacturing is developing a slip-coating solution for OEMs and other end users working with sunroof end applications.

New Silicone Slip-Coating Solution Serves Automotive Industry

To meet a challenge facing the automotive industry, Lauren Manufacturing is developing a slip-coating solution for OEMs and other end users working with sunroof end applications.

The silicone material used in a variety of sunroof seals needed a low friction coating for noise reduction and sealing performance.

Within six months, Lauren Manufacturing created a friction reduction coating. It is applied to the rubber and forms a low friction surface, which comes in contact with the clear coat on the car body. The friction reduction coating adheres firmly and securely to the silicone surface and doesn’t flake off.

“In addition to providing a greater level of noise reduction, the new coating would allow us to use a silicone seal, which provides a higher performance than other polymers,” said Ken Bertram, Applications Engineer for the Vehicle and Transportation market unit. “Both of these characteristics benefit end users, and this new coating would allow us to offer a new solution to anyone facing friction issues with silicone parts.”

New Curing System For Silicone Tubes

In response to increased demand for thin-walled, dense silicone parts in the underwater and recreational case markets, Lauren Manufacturing successfully partnered a new die design and curing process to develop a customized solution to meet customers’ needs.

A customer asked Lauren Manufacturing to develop high quality, thin-walled silicone tubes. The challenge? There were several—the miniature size, the oval shape and the assurance that the part maintained a nominal wall.

Solution: Lauren Manufacturing quickly developed a new mold specifically designed to splice the small tube, which featured a .060-inch outside diameter and a .011-inch wall thickness and incorporated a unique curing process to produce the parts in-line.

“We were able to use an infrared oven to vulcanize the material, which allowed us to make a rounder part than running it through our traditional salt bath cure system,” said Dave McPeek, Applications Engineer. “Using this method, we were able to develop, manufacture and ship a sample to the customer within three weeks. This infrared process is just one of the cure systems Lauren Manufacturing employs and is specific to handling dense silicone parts.”

The infrared oven allows Lauren Manufacturing to transform raw compounds to finished o-rings in a single piece flow process, providing customers with higher quality parts at a competitive price.

 

Out of the Cold: Silicone Weatherstripping Solution

Lauren Manufacturing’s Building and Construction market unit recently developed a new translucent silicone weatherstripping solution to serve a wide variety of sealing challenges for applications in the window and door industry.

The new weather stripping is a 70 durometer translucent dense silicone material with a very aggressive modified acrylic adhesive. Developed from silicone, which is a premier material for weatherstripping applications, the thin-walled bulb portion of the seal allows for a number of sealing needs while the base, which is a thicker version of the same material, allows for a strong seal application.

“The challenge was creating a nice translucent ‘color’ and also a material that would extrude with an extremely thin wall, but we were able to create a solution within one week,” said Sheryl Ashleman, Market Manager. “The thin wall allows for great flexibility in a sealing application and the silicone material allows for a very broad temperature range suiting the most extreme conditions.”

With better set properties and an appealing translucent look, the material provides customers with a number of window or door weatherstripping options.

Learn more about Lauren’s custom silicone seals. 

See how we developed a custom sponge silicone gasket for a headlight housing.

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