Category Archive: Silicone Tubing
Now that we’ve reached the start of summer, one thing that’s on most people’s minds is water. Whether you’re heading to the local pool or reaching for a cool beverage, this time of year, you can never seem to have enough water. But how can municipalities ensure the safety of their water?
Any water that’s accessed through a tap has already undergone extensive processing. Wastewater and drinking water treatment plants go through billions of gallons of water every day. But even as bacteria and contaminants are filtered out, there’s still a concern of other pollutants leaching into the water from the system itself. To combat this issue, it’s important for treatment systems to use non-leaching materials, including silicone tubing and seals. Even after the water reaches your home, there are several places where harmful contamination can be picked up from places in your homes. PVC, a commonly used material for piping and flexible tubing, has been known to leach concerning chemicals, and several countries in Europe are moving to ban its use wherever possible. Unlike metal pipes that can corrode or leach heavy metals into the water, silicone offers a safe alternative even when exposed to high temperatures.
And after processing, silicone materials are often used in other applications. In laboratories, for example, there is always a need for high-purity water for medical and scientific purposes. Any contamination at all could throw off results, so employing a system that won’t introduce foreign particles is essential. And of course, standard drinking water must also be kept clean to keep residents healthy. Recent headlines have shown the dangers of old water infrastructure leading to lead contamination throughout the country – which is why it is so important to take stock of all of the materials throughout the water supply chain.
Even in household filtration systems – including water and ice dispensers in refrigerators – any time water is being brought from one location to another, consider the materials being used during transport. Silicone is a safe material that can fill many roles in the water processing sector.
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.
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.
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!
Forget the recent Olympics for a minute. As far as the weather goes in the US, 2012 has been setting the sorts of records no one really wants to set. Meteorologistsreport that it has been the hottest year on record in the lower 48 states
. As of July 31st,
the National Drought Mitigation Center reports that over 50% of US counties are in a state of moderate drought or worse, a figure actually less than a week before. The real trouble is happening in 2.52% of the US, where they are experiencing exceptional drought – and it’s a number that threatens to keep rising. While they believe this particular drought will subside, it doesn’t mean there will be much relief for producers of corn, soybeans, hay, and cattle for ‘12. If it continues as is projected, if drought-like conditions are the new norm, we will all be paying a lot more for just about everything we eat for years to come.
, while we don’t grow corn or raise cattle, we do manufacture and engineer many goods that are used in industries directly affected by the vicissitudes of nature. On the one end our silicone seals, tubing, O-rings, and gaskets are used extensively in the agricultural industry for water purification, wastewater treatment, emergency water supplies, and the like. When there is no rain, you just can’t afford to lose water from poor seals. Our goods also play a crucial role in the bagging and packaging of foods after production, ensuring that food makes it to market safely and cleanly. Everyone at Vanguard is keeping close tabs on the weather forecast. We are all hoping for some rain, but in the meantime, our silicone tubing, seals, and O-rings are here for farmers at this, the most crucial of times for North American agriculture.
Three decades ago, solar energy usage on a broad scale to power large sections of the population seemed to be a pipe dream. Based upon the technology of the day, it was assumed that “direct conversion” solar cells could never be efficient enough to generate enough power to make their use commercially feasible on a large scale, and their costs made wide scale use unrealistic. Further, solar reflector, collector, and steam turbine technologies of the time were not advanced enough to warrant consideration for use in multi-megawatt power plants.
Over the past several years, the technological landscape has changed considerably with respect to solar energy. Direct conversion solar cells are becoming less costly to the point where many individual residential installations make economic sense. Further, reflector and turbine technology has now advanced to the point where it is now feasible to build solar power plants that can generate greater than 250 megawatts of power. Industrial sites that utilize steam power are now using solar collectors to augment their traditional steam generation, thus reducing their dependence on traditional fossil fuels or electricity.
From a materials and applications standpoint, these installations present some daunting challenges. The most effective solar installations are located in areas of intense solar radiation and wide temperature swings. Take for instance the largest solar installations in Asia and in Australia. These are located in areas where the average solar radiation can approach 7 kWh/square meter/day and the temperature can go from close to freezing all the way to well over 100F. Any material that is used in these systems must not only hold up to long periods of high heat and radiation without degradation, but must also be adaptable to the low temperature exposure as well. Further, the weather environment in these installation locations can be among the most brutal on earth, with weather phenomenons such as brutal sandstorms or torrential tropical rains.
To that effect, Vanguard Products has provided solar energy developers with high-quality silicone materials that can withstand the intense heat, wind, dust-storms, and UV radiation over the long haul, while providing consistent reliable sealing and fluid transport. Our ability to tailor our custom silicone extrusions
, moldings and tubing
from both the design and materials standpoint has made us a “supplier of choice” for these types of applications. Further, we are able to provide long term durable options with respect to mounting and installation, such as high performance pressure sensitive adhesive mounting. We are looking forward to continuing and growing our supply to this industry in the future in support of the global efforts to increase the use of renewable energy.