Sealing Solutions for Winter Weather

If you’re like most people, once Thanksgiving hits, we know that the winter months are finally here, and the need for “winterizing” the house heads to the top of the to-do.  Hopefully you’ve already taken some preliminary steps to save on energy and heating bills, and make your home cozy for the colder months.  One of the biggest things among the myriad of lists recounting winterizing tips is to ensure your windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent leaks.  Old windows and ill-fitting doors are notorious for driving up energy bills in the winter because of their failure to efficiently insulate their openings.

Higher end windows and doors use a variety of different techniques and materials to improve this insulation – double-paned windows, advanced materials, and other technologies are advancing window technology and energy efficiency.  One of the most important factors is the quality of the seal around the frame – you can have the best coated double or triple-paned window, but if it doesn’t have a good seal, it’s ineffective.

Vanguard has been working with the better window and door manufacturers for years in fighting this “Battle of the Draft.”  At Vanguard, we know seals.  Our materials, engineering capability, and manufacturing flexibility position us favorably to provide our OEM customers with exactly the type of sealing solution that fits their needs.  We have developed numerous cost effective silicone sealing approaches that ensure low compression set/low compression force sealing, and enhanced thermally insulating silicone compounds.

Whether to keep the warm inside your home, or the rain out of an outdoor electrical enclosure, Vanguard has the right combination of experience and expertise to solve your sealing problems.  Contact us today to talk to our experts about the right fit for your needs – and stay warm!

Posted on: December 6th, 2013 | Posted in: rubber sealing

Vanguard Products Goes to Broadway

Out of all of the different places that you might expect to find our products, we bet we have an example of one place that will surprise you:  the set of a Broadway play.  That’s right – a few years ago, Vanguard was contacted by a set designer for a big project for the set design of the play “Hairspray”.  The designer needed a huge set backdrop of a “wig” of material that would mimic the behavior (in light reflection, color, and “bounciness”) of hair.  After trading ideas with the designer, we came up with the shape, color, and material that would suit the project best, to both mimic the behavior of actual hair, and hold up under such a vast construction.

Several thousand feet of tubing and 2,250 lbs. later, the design came together as a unique and convincing piece, and one of our more unusual projects here at Vanguard.  You can find out more here from the set design company, and here for other interesting behind-the-scenes facts about the show.

 

hairspray 1

It’s not often our work is in the literal spotlight, and we thought it appropriate to highlight it here on our blog as well.  While most of the time our products do their jobs behind the scenes, whether in wiring,
gaskets, and other inner workings of electronics and machines, it was a welcome change to see our handiwork at center stage.  We love to explore the vast capabilities and applications that our products can provide – contact us today with your ideas about how we can make our products work for you.

 

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 | Posted in: Silicone Tubing

The Implications of Air Quality

Air quality is a widely used metric in a variety of portions of our lives. Its composition, particulates, and purity are all of concern for several applications – weather services regularly measure the air in a variety of ways to gather information about our atmospheric conditions and pollution levels; hospitals monitor the quality of the air in patient rooms and “clean rooms”; manufacturing floors for the semiconductor industry are stringently measured for air quality concerns. Even something as inconspicuous as the makeup of the air we breathe can have significant implications for these and other industries.

The measurement process is a complicated procedure, and the accuracy of the measurements is crucial for a successful and useful end result. One problem that often occurs is that, for a number of reasons, the sampling tubing used can cause buildups on the walls of the tubing of the very particulates that are being measured. This can cause some wildly inaccurate readings of air quality, as the ratio of particulate to the volume of air sampled is a critical factor in these readings.

At Vanguard, we have developed some special silicone materials that help in getting accurate readings when used as part of the sampling mechanism, such as in the sampling tubing. These silicone materials have special additives in them to combat the buildup of particulate on the sampling walls through phenomenon such as static buildup. Further, these compounds are made from materials that will not add chemicals or particulate to the airstream, leading to extraordinarily accurate readings.

While it’s easy to ignore the air around us, knowing its properties and being able to regulate them affords us some pretty amazing things – the manufacture of semiconductors in your smartphone, the accuracy of information on your local weather channel, and the preservation of many old or brittle artifacts in museums, to name a few. At Vanguard, we breathe easy knowing we provide one solution in the process for air quality measurement, and have a hand in its many expansive applications.

Posted on: August 29th, 2013 | Posted in: Uncategorized

Vanguard Products and Gourmet Delights

With the winter weather come thoughts of tropical climates and 80⁰ getaways.  For many of us, that means plans to take cruises.  With these plans come thoughts of the gourmet foods that, safely aboard, we can sample (or in some cases, over-sample at the expense of a few pounds) around the clock.  Invariably, thoughts about quality and timeliness of the food are big factors when considering what cruise-line to take in the Caribbean or Aegean: lukewarm rubber chicken is not an option!

Come to think of it, you might even wonder how luxury cruise-lines (or banquet facilities and restaurants) can possibly cook your medium-rare prime rib or Chilean sea-bass so perfectly, and do so while providing for dozens, if not hundreds, of other guests?

The task is quite daunting and would be impossible if not for the development of high tech cooking systems.  Modern-day ovens achieve the optimum level of cooking and temperature at the same time for various food types, allowing chefs (whether onshore or offshore) to prepare massive numbers of servings ahead of time, without losing any of the gourmet quality or flavor you rightfully expect.  There are even newer oven systems that allow for this level of quality to be achieved via microwave. Imagine gourmet lobster-tail delivered at your gas station or local convenience store!

As you can imagine, the assembly of these cooking systems is complex: from the electronics right down to the mechanical design of the oven.  Failure, especially on a cruise ship with thousands of people out at sea, is not an option.  Paramount in the mechanical design of these systems are the seals.  Such seals need to allow the systems to maintain even-keeled, consistent heating, and must also be able to be cleaned quickly (in some cases while the ovens are still hot).

In addition, these ovens need to be “food friendly” and resistive to animal fats. Finally, in the case of the new microwave systems, they must be capable of shielding against microwaves escaping the systems.

Vanguard has solutions for all of these requirements, and has been reliably supplying these applications for decades.  We have numerous listings to NSF-51, so our products are well recognized by the industry, and our materials have some of the longest life, heat resistance, and fat resistance available.  So next time you enjoy the “midnight buffet” while out at sea, or savor a well-prepared tasty banquet meal, thank Vanguard in small part.

Contact us today for further details about how we can manufacture these types of seals for your business.
Posted on: March 11th, 2013 | Posted in: NSF-51 listed materials, seals for high tech cooking systems

Vanguard Blog – Rubber Sealing for Naval Electronics

Vanguard – Rubber Sealing for Naval ElectronicsAmong many things to be proud of about our state, Connecticut serves as home to some of the largest maritime defense bases and manufacturers in the United States. While there are many bases from which U.S. subs operate, the Naval Submarine Base at New London has been given the simple and telling moniker, “Home of the Submarine Force.”  We are proud to also be home to the Coast Guard Academy, and a number of hi-tech submarine and marine equipment manufacturers supporting the defense of our nation on the open seas.  Being a Connecticut company ourselves, and being that we manufacture a full range of sealing and shielding products for maritime applications, we thought it might be a good time  to talk about the perils of shipboard galvanic action, and how Vanguard shielding products help prevent galvanic action from occurring.

Galvanic action, in essence, is a process where combinations of materials essentially become batteries due to contact between electrochemically dissimilar metals. When this happens, a conductive path is made by which electrons and ions move from one metal to the next.  During the process, the material from which the electrons and ions are moving becomes “sacrificial”—physically losing material until degrading to the point of failure.  In practice, “galvanic action” can occur between the highly conductive EMI shielding gasket and the metal enclosure, and usually causes the electronic enclosure (typically made of aluminum or steel) to corrode and degrade to the point where the structural integrity, especially from a sealing standpoint, is literally eroded.  The process is initiated and accelerated through the presence of an electrolyte.  In the case of maritime applications, the electrolyte is abundant—salt water or salt fog in the air.  Since maritime US forces are equipped with some of the most advanced, sensitive electronics known to man, and given that seawater is abundant, it becomes obvious why there’s a need to guard against galvanic action in naval electronics systems.

Vanguard’s Ultra-Vanshield and Microbridge dual function EMI shielding gaskets reduce the galvanic potential by reducing the exposure of the dissimilar metals to the electrolyte.  This, combined with the appropriate selection of conductive material from our extensive conductive materials options, can virtually eliminate the potential for galvanic action between the shielding gasket and the enclosure on which it is installed.  Whether extruded or molded, our gaskets and rubber sealants have been proven seaworthy time and again aboard seafaring vessels. Whether you make your way on a Nimitz-class carrier, a Los Angeles-class attack sub, or a munitions supply ship, you can depend on Vanguard to safeguard your electronic operations systems from the wind, weather, and brine you encounter every moment. For more information on our customized and standard electronics protection solutions for naval applications, call us today or email us at Vanguard Products.

EMI Shielding Gaskets and Vanguard

At Vanguard, we know a thing or two about EMI shielding and conductive gaskets. Customers from around the world come to us not only because they’ve learned how no one does EMI shielding quite as well as Vanguard, but because our shielding gaskets can be cost-effectively customized to your exacting requirements. Sizes range from 0.010 in cross section to 3”. In addition, we also offer custom finishing services that include PSA application, cutting, bonding, and a wide variety of other secondary operations. Some of the biggest names in telecom, computers, high-speed electronics, automotive control systems, military electronics, and avionics wouldn’t think of trusting anyone other than Vanguard with their EMI shielding and conductive gasket needs.

We pride ourselves on the fact so that so many of our customers are long-term clients. It boils down to trust in our quality, selection, and 45 years of expertise.  Vanguard can offer you high precision, not to mention cost effective production in our ISO 9001:2008 certified facility. We employ only the best grade silicone, fluorosilicone, and EPDM available to create your EMI shielding gaskets. Perhaps most importantly of all, you know you’re getting the best because everything we make is made in the USA. No off-shoring, no outsourcing: you get EMI Shielding gaskets that are 100% Made in America.

If want to learn more about our broad range of standard EMI Shielding gaskets and Conductive gaskets, visit our website or contact one of Vanguard’s experts today.
Posted on: February 4th, 2013 | Posted in: EMI Shielding Gaskets, EPDM, fluorosilicone

Vanguard Goes West: Our Fiber Optic Sheaths and MD&M West

The science of fiber optics has come a long way since the days of 1842, when Daniel Colladon wrote the first popular science article on the subject, “On the Reflections of a Ray of Light inside a Parabolic Stream”.  Since then, that clumsy “ray of light” has been honed and miniaturized until today a standard optical fiber is contained within a clumped cable of thousands of its kind. This allows for many possible uses, some of the most prominent being in medicine. Whether a cardiologist needs better light by which to navigate his scalpel while performing heart surgery, or whether a surgeon needs fiber optic nasopharyngoscopy to examine a nasal cavity for tumors, polyps, chronic nosebleeds, sleep apnea, or the like; there’s a strong medical need for many different types and lengths of fiber optic cables.

Likewise, there is a strong need to protect the intricate design of these cables from the inevitable wear and tear they suffer when utilized in a medical or dental environment.   That’s where Vanguard’s cable sheaths come into the conversation. Being that we have long-standing experience in manufacturing fiber optic cable sheaths for the medical industry; and being that we’re able both to perform long production runs of standard sheaths and/or customize our sheaths to comply with the intricacies of specific devices, we certainly are looking forward to this upcoming MD&M West in Anaheim, CA, February 12-14, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

As anyone in the medical device field readily knows, MD&M-West is one of the main medical showcases in North America, both in terms of exhibiting new technology and in presenting new techniques and approaches in manufacturing for medical products. Finally, MD&M is one of the primary means by which those in the medical OEM field can meet face-to-face in an informal, comfortable setting, and get to know one another’s business needs and timetables more clearly.
At MD&M West, we look forward as always to meeting up with old friends and business partners, as well as establish new possible ventures for the coming year. Not to mention that mid-February’s usually a nice time to leave Connecticut for a couple of days in favor of Anaheim! So stop by our booth, booth number 3355, and come say hello. For a complimentary pass to the exhibition, visit http://www.mdmwest.com

 In the meantime, contact us by phone or by email if you have any questions about our attendance of MD&M West or anything else.
Posted on: January 21st, 2013 | Posted in: Fiber Optic Sheaths

Vanguard and Hurricane Sandy: Providing Customers with Shelter from the Storm

Vanguard_hurricane_Sandy_Providing_ShelterWhen Hurricane Sandy pile-drove into the New York Metropolitan Area, it didn’t take much for anyone who was caught in it to realize that the night was going to be a long and potentially dangerous one. Unfortunately, those instincts were spot-on. Hurricane Sandy proved to be the worst natural disaster to befall the New York region in nearly a century (the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 being the worst “natural disaster”). Over one hundred people in the Tri-State Area alone lost their lives due to the storm. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses suffered damage from flooding and 80 mph winds; many neighborhoods also were decimated by fire. In total, the official tally of damage now amounts to an estimated $71 billion, of which $9 billion is earmarked to improve the storm protection infrastructure of the region in the event of a future disaster of this scale.

Our own facility here in Connecticut lucked out: we suffered no remarkable damage to either our property or production capability. And as many tragedies happened that day, there were an equal number of stories of resistance and resilience in the face of Nature. In fact, many homes and businesses equipped with hurricane shutters and/or floodgate systems came through the disaster in good working order. While many companies should take credit for providing protection for businesses throughout the region, we at Vanguard contributed as well by providing  the gaskets and  seals we extrude here at our facility to several companies that expertly manufacture hurricane and flood protection equipment  used throughout public and private infrastructure to help insure no rain or water creeps (or sweeps) into a building.

Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call of sorts to New York and the surrounding environs. Hurricanes, as it turns out, are no longer simply the province of Florida, Louisiana, or the Carolinas; they can happen right here in Connecticut and they can be heartbreakingly devastating. Now that the superstorm’s fury has passed, it’s time to insure that our houses, offices, warehouses, factories, and storefronts are secure from any future danger.   Meanwhile, here at Vanguard, we’ll keep working with the manufacturers that produce this high quality protection equipment and providing them with the highest quality sealing products in the industry.
Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 | Posted in: Uncategorized

Vanguard Set to Exhibit at Electronica 2012 This November in Munich, Germany

In order for a company to build on its success, there simply isn’t time rely and focus on past successes. It doesn’t matter how resounding your command over your section of industry may be,  there will always be  another company  somewhere around the globe  waiting in line to fill  and advance your niche. In terms of this maxim applying to Vanguard, we don’t seek just to build the quality products that meet today’s expectations. We know it’s a deeper game than that: we need to keep abreast and stay ahead of current developments in electronics technology and its relation to elastomeric products if we expect to be a leader in tomorrow’s applications. On that note, it makes good sense for Vanguard to have a strong presence at Europe’s key electronics expo of 2012, Electronica 2012, to be held November 13 – 16 in Munich, Germany.

Everything from semiconductor smart-grids, to the greater PCB components industry, to how embedded computing devices are revolutionizing the world, will be on the table and up for discussion.  Booths from the world’s most innovative and far-sighted companies will be parked side-by-side on the main convention floor-space. Visionaries from North America, Europe, Asia,  and Australia will together present a total picture of electronics that is bound to impact businesses and stimulate engineering minds throughout the forthcoming year. We’ll be there, exhibiting our products in Hall A2: Stand #471. To be included amongst the movers and shakers of today’s global electronics industry is a true honor and privilege for our company. Here’s to meeting new faces!
Posted on: November 6th, 2012 | Posted in: Electronica 2012

So what are you up to?

 

elastomeric goods ideas
Since 1966, we’ve been making the world’s best high precision extruded, molded, and fabricated elastomeric goods.  Everyone at Vanguard is committed to the highest quality and to a customer service that is second to none.  In summary, our days are pretty full. Between engineering manufacturing, quality testing, and fielding orders and quotes, we really don’t have that much in the way of free time!

That being said, we want to take a quick break to spend some time asking you, our readers and customers, some pertinent questions. We know the capabilities of our rubber and silicone seals, gaskets, O-rings, and tubing from A to Z, but it’s always nice to know how these devices are being used in actual, in-development projects and applications. There’s always the chance that there are new, exciting uses for our products that we haven’t anticipated. On that note, it’s your turn to let us know how and why you’re using your Vanguard products, or at least the sorts of products that Vanguard specializes in. We’d also love to hear if there is any way we can improve our products and services; if there is any way we can become a better and more responsive company. We’re relying on you, the everyday users of our products, to fill us in on what we don’t know! In the end, we never want to stop growing and innovating, and a key component of that is being open to solid, intelligent feedback from the people you serve.

So leave a comment here on the blog, send us an email, or just pick up the phone and give us a call. We’ll enjoy hearing from you!
Posted on: October 15th, 2012 | Posted in: O-rings, Silicone Extrusions, Silicone Moldings, Silicone O-rings, Silicone Tubing