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Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog

Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about the design and custom fabrication of rubber and plastic components. For nearly 25 years, our family-owned company has provided high-quality, low-volume seals to a variety of industries. Doug Sharpe, Elasto Proxy's co-founder, is a former president of the International Sealing Distribution Association (ISD), a not-for-profit trade association that enhances member success through information, education, and interaction. By blogging for CR4 in this same supportive and collaborative spirit, Doug and other members of the Elasto Proxy team will share our experiences with you.

Rubber Floor Mats for Mobile Equipment

Posted April 25, 2017 4:55 PM by Doug Sharpe

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.

Rubber Floor Mats: Design Assistance and Material Selection

To protect the cabin and the operator, mobile equipment manufacturers choose rubber floor mats from Elasto Proxy. By reviewing your CAD files, we can help prepare your mobile equipment insulation for manufacturing. We can also help you with material selection so that your cabin flooring matches the larger color scheme of your mobile equipment, including the cab insulation. Typically, rubber flooring is black; however, Elasto Proxy can also custom-fabricate rubber floor mats in colors such as gray or brown.

As part of the material selection process, our solutions providers may recommend rubber with a pebbled texture or with recessed, diamond-shaped features that can catch water. These durable surface materials are laminated to an acoustical foam that’s typically 3/8” or 5/8” thick. With larger diesel-powered equipment, thicker foams are used. Elasto Proxy has the technical expertise to recommend the right acoustical foam and thickness for your specific noise levels and decibel reduction requirements.

Rubber Floor Mats: Lamination and Water Jet Cutting

After Elasto Proxy laminates the rubber surface material to the acoustical foam, we use water jet cutting to produce floor mats that meet your precise dimensional specifications. By sending your CAD files directly to our digital equipment, we can meet tight tolerances. With the rubber flooring that’s near the driver’s seat, we can cut precise openings for the arms that attach to the gas and brake pedals. With the kick plates that meet the cab insulation, we create clean, straight lines.

Water jet cutting is ideal for cutting bolt holes for cab seats, but this custom fabrication technique can also tighten controls over project costs. Because there are no tools or waiting for tooling, you can get quick-turn prototypes and change your floor mat designs cost-effectively. Water jet cutting is also a smart choice for low-to-medium volume manufacturing because you only order the materials that you need. So whether you’re introducing new mobile equipment or replacing rubber flooring, contact Elasto Proxy.

Rubber Floor Mats: Get Elasto Proxy’s Sample Insulation Kit

Rubber floor mats from Elasto Proxy don’t just resist mud, snow, dirt, and water. They also absorb engine sounds and support your engine bay insulation. If you’re looking for rubber floor mats for mobile equipment, we’d like to hear from you. For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has supplied custom sealing and insulation solutions to companies like yours.

Do you need samples that you can show to purchasing, engineering, or operations? Then request Elasto Proxy’s sample insulation kit. Packaged in a black-and-orange cinch bag, this sample bag contains representative samples of mobile equipment insulation from Elasto Proxy.

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Engine Bay Insulation for Mobile Equipment

Posted April 19, 2017 4:55 PM by Doug Sharpe

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.

Engine Bay Insulation: Materials

Engine bay insulation from Elasto Proxy halts high heat, loud sounds, and noise-induced vibrations. By arranging thermal and acoustical materials in layers, we build sandwich-like structures with the right combination of properties. Typically, engine bay insulation has three layers. The top layer consists of an aluminum facing or metallized Mylar that’s laminated to elastomeric foam. The facing reflects radiant heat and withstands contact with water and engine oil. Reinforced facings can also resist abrasion.

The middle of this insulation sandwich includes a layer of hard rubber that stops loud engine sounds. A layer of acoustic foam provides additional sound absorption. The bottom layer of the engine bay insulation is a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) with a removable liner. Taped insulation is easier-to-install, and taping eliminates the health and safety concerns that are associated with adhesive spraying on your assembly line.

Elasto Proxy keeps a wide variety of thermal and acoustical materials in stock. We can also provide design assistance and help with compound selection. With our acoustic testing capabilities, we can recommend sound-absorbing materials for specific engine noise levels. Typically, engine bay insulation is 1/2”, 1” or 2” thick. Because Elasto Proxy is a skilled fabricator, we buy and use only the material quantities that you need. Compare that to the waste that’s associated with using a template and hand tools like a box cutter.

Engine Bay Insulation: Value-Added Solutions

At Elasto Proxy, we use water jet equipment to cut smooth, straight lines and chamfers with 30° or 45° angles. With water jet cutting, there are no tooling charges or waiting for tooling. So if you change your product design, just send us your new drawings or CAD files. Water jet cutting also complements our lamination and taping capabilities. We can laminate thermal and acoustic materials together, apply PSA tape for ease-of-insulation, and then cut mobile equipment insulation your dimensional requirements.

Elasto Proxy can also group all of your parts into kits and mark individual components with numbers or other identifying features. Thanks to inkjet printing and UV drying, our parts marking system produces letters and numbers that are crisp, clean, and easy-to-read. By packaging everything your installers need into a single box, you’ll save time and money on your assembly line. Instead of looking for 10 or 20 different SKUs in a warehouse, an installer can just open the box and get to work.

Get Elasto Proxy’s Sample Insulation Kit

Do you need engine bay insulation for mobile equipment? Would you like samples that you can show to co-workers in purchasing, engineering, or operations? Then request Elasto Proxy’s sample insulation kit. Packaged in a black-and-orange cinch bag, this convenient sample bag contains representative samples of mobile equipment insulation from Elasto Proxy.

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Cab Insulation for Mobile Equipment: Head Liners, Side Panels, Door Panels

Posted April 12, 2017 4:55 PM by Doug Sharpe

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.

Cab Insulation: Design Assistance and Material Selection

Some mobile equipment manufacturers still cut cab insulation by hand with a template and a utility knife or box cutter. Parts with rough cuts don’t impress equipment buyers, however, and sourcing managers don’t know how much waste is created by poor-quality cuts. Instead of buying exactly the amount of material that’s required, sourcing managers buy more insulation than they really need. Custom fabrication can reduce labor and material costs, but these aren’t the only benefits. When you send your CAD files to Elasto Proxy, we’ll review your part designs and prepare them for fast, accurate digital manufacturing.

The Elasto Proxy team can help you with material selection, too. Perforated vinyl foams come standard in black, gray, and Mojave brown, but we can custom color-match your cab insulation to your larger mobile equipment design. We can also source perforated vinyl foams with a metallic finish, or that have a basket-weave pattern or texture. If you need non-perforated materials instead, we can source them, too. Importantly, Elasto Proxy has the technical expertise to recommend the right cab insulation material and thickness for your specific noise levels and decibel reduction requirements.

Cab Insulation: Water Jet Cutting and Taping

Elasto Proxy uses water jet equipment to cut smooth, straight lines and chamfers with 30° or 45° angles. Through precision cutting, we can make angled cuts for wrap-around edges with a finished appearance. Water jet cutting also creates through-holes for fasteners that are required by cabin components such as fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, and net pockets. To accommodate raised fastener heads that are hidden behind cabin insulation, Elasto Proxy can cut blind holes in the back of the foam. These holes aren’t visible to equipment buyers or occupants, but they support the flush mounting of custom cabin insulation.

Historically, mobile equipment manufacturers used adhesive spraying to mount or attach cab insulation. Spraying can require compliance with health and safety regulations, and may also involve time-consuming setup and cleanup activities. By contrast, custom cab insulation from Elasto Proxy attaches with pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape. Your installer simply peels away the backing material and sticks the acoustic insulation to the cabin surface. For headliners, PSAs that support heavier weights are available. Elasto Proxy can also recommend PSA tapes that are right for specific temperature and humidity conditions.

Cab Insulation: Kitting, Parts Marking, and Packaging

Elasto Proxy can group all of the parts that you need into kits and mark individual components with part numbers or other identifying features to help speed installation. Thanks to inkjet printing and UV drying, our parts marking system produces letters and numbers that are crisp, clean, and easy-to-read. By packaging everything your installers need into a single box, you’ll save time and money on your assembly line. Instead of looking for 10 or 20 different SKUs in a warehouse, an installer can just open the box and get to work.

Ask for Elasto Proxy’s Sample Insulation Kit

Do you need cab insulation for mobile equipment? Would you like samples that you can show to co-workers in purchasing, engineering, or operations? Then request Elasto Proxy’s sample insulation kit. Packaged in a black-and-orange cinch bag, this convenient sample bag contains representative samples of mobile equipment insulation from Elasto Proxy.

Click here to request your sample insulation kit.

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Mobile Equipment Insulation

Posted April 04, 2017 4:55 PM by Doug Sharpe

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?

For that matter, does your purchasing manager know the cost of this material waste? Does your operations manager understand how much time is spent on rework? These costs can add up, but mobile equipment manufacturers have other concerns, too. Installers who spend their time searching for parts need more time to complete tasks. Plus, if installing cab insulation requires the use of spray adhesives, mobile equipment manufacturers need to address health and safety issues.

Mobile Equipment Insulation: Fabrication

Water jet cutting from Elasto Proxy improves cut quality and reduces material waste. Our water jet cutting table creates clean, straight lines with speed and precision. Elasto Proxy also uses industrial robots to make chamfered cuts like 30° and 45° angles. In addition to offering greater precision, our cutting services provide you with a truer picture of your manufacturing costs. Instead of wondering about rework or scrap, you’ll get high-quality insulation every time.

Insulation that’s cut neatly conveys quality, but the advantages of working with us don’t end there. Elasto Proxy can cut and assemble multi-layer insulation, and then package all of your parts in easy-to-use kits. The boxes that arrive at your facility or in the field contain everything your installers need. There’s no hunting for parts or waiting for them to arrive. Plus, by applying pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) to your insulation, we can supply you with peel-and-stick solutions that are safer than adhesive spraying.

Thermal Insulation and Acoustic Insulation

Elasto Proxy custom-fabricates many different types of mobile equipment insulation. For example, materials with a perforated vinyl facing are used in the headliner and cab. This acoustic insulation contains small holes that allow sounds to pass through. Depending on the amount of engine noise, a thicker or thinner foam may be laminated to the facing material. Facing colors typically include black, gray, and brown; however, Elasto Proxy can also match custom colors to your mobile equipment designs.

Insulation for mobile equipment includes composite materials with an aluminum foil facing. This thin-gauge metal material can deflect some of the heat that’s transferred from an engine towards the cab. The insulation’s sandwich-style structure also includes a sound barrier. By reducing the amount of engine noise that reaches the operator, this insulation supports compliance with occupational safety requirements, too. Elasto Proxy can also fabricate rubber floor mats that absorb sounds and reduce noise.

Request a Sample Insulation Kit

Are you searching for insulation for mobile equipment? Would you like to learn more about Elasto Proxy’s capabilities? Do you need samples that you can show to co-workers in purchasing, engineering, or operations? Then request Elasto Proxy’s sample insulation kit. Packaged in a black-and-orange cinch bag, this convenient sample bag contains representative samples of insulation products.

Click here to request your sample insulation kit from Elasto Proxy.

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Skylight Seals and Load Requirements

Posted March 29, 2017 4:55 PM by Doug Sharpe

Skylight seals need to meet requirements for dead loads, live loads, local maintenance loads, and wind compression loads.

Skylights are windows that are installed in a building’s roof or ceiling. They admit natural light, support passive solar heating, and provide a visual connection to the outdoor environment. Skylights feature large spans of glass, but there’s more to these windows than meets the eye. Glass loads can be heavy, and wind loads can add weight and pressure to skylight panels. If heavy loads cause a skylight to collapse, people can get hurt. Serious damage to a building’s interior can result, too.

Skylight Seal Requirements

To support glass loads and wind loads, skylights incorporate metal supports. Aluminum, a strong but lightweight metal, is typically used. These metal supports feature channels where rubber skylight seals lock into place. Window rubber provides sealing and insulation, but skylight seals also prevent the glass from contacting the metal. This especially important during skylight installation and maintenance, and during weather events such as windstorms and snowstorms.

For skylight designers, it’s also important to consider that the seal may support glass with potentially slight but significant variations in thickness. Glass, metal, and rubber have different expansion rates, too. Selecting the right skylight seal can be challenging, but help is available. Elasto Proxy, a custom fabricator of skylight seals and other industrial rubber products, can help your engineering department with seal design and compound selection. We also understand the load testing requirements you need to meet.

Types of Loads

Skylight seals need to withstand four types of loads.

Type

Description

Dead Load (DL)The load from the materials of construction. This includes the skylight glass and metal supports. Most roof or ceiling systems have a fairly uniform density, which means that the weight of materials in one skylight section is the same as in another. Typically, dead loads don’t change much over time.
Local Maintenance Load (ML)The load on a specific part of a skylight, such as when a worker stands on a glass edge during construction. Local maintenance loads can be very high during installation, especially when workers stack glass or setup and use equipment.
Live Load (LL)The load from temporary objects such as snow, ice, planters, and decorations. Note that live load includes the total weight of workers, materials, and equipment during skylight installation and maintenance. Total weight is different than the local maintenance load, which is specific to a localized area.
Wind Compression Load (WC)The load created when wind’s dynamic energy is stopped by the skylight’s static surface. Wind loads exert pressure on the skylight glass, forcing it downward and towards the metal support. Wind compression loads vary, and skylight designers must account for regular wind gusts and high winds that occur infrequently.

Depending on the system of measurement, these four loads are expressed in kiloNewtons (kN) per meter (m), or in pounds (lb) per feet (feet). These expressions are written as kN/m and lb/ft, respectively.

Load Combinations and Safety Factors

In addition to individual loads, skylight designers need to consider a combination of loads. Depending on the skylight’s design and the application conditions, these combinations are typical:

  • DL + ML
  • DL + WC

Skylight designers may also need to consider safety factors, a measure of the load-carrying capacity beyond the expected or actual loads. Like roof and ceiling loads, safety factors are often specified in design codes or industry standards.

Get the Custom Skylight Seals Case Study

Do you need rubber seals for custom skylights? Elasto Proxy is ready to help. In addition to design assistance and help with compound selection, we provide custom fabrication you can count on. To learn more about how Elasto Proxy solves sealing challenges, download the Custom Skylight Seals Case Study.

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