Category Archive: Uncategorized

Advantages of Silicone for Rubber Products

Silicone is a highly favored material due to its durability, versatility, and biocompatibility. These properties make silicone among the most commonly used across a range of industries. At Vanguard Products, we use silicone for tubing, O-rings, and extruded products. 

Benefits of Silicone Rubber 

There are several key advantages of using silicone rubber materials for various products. These benefits include:

Environmental Resistance

Silicone rubber holds up in many environments, with sufficient thermal stability, flame resistance, steam resistance, and resistance to both UV and radiation. It also features a very low compression set and high tensile strength and resilience. 

Versatility

One of the main benefits of using silicone rubber for products is the material’s versatility. Many industries rely on silicone rubber because of its compatibility with a wide variety of applications. By making slight adjustments to the compound mixture, curing agents, or processes, silicone rubber sees a reduced compression set along with increased resistance to flame, steam, temperature, and water. 

It’s possible to manufacture silicone rubber with a translucent appearance or nearly any color. In addition, its durability makes the material highly reliable and capable of performing consistently well in the long term. At Vanguard Products, we offer top-quality silicone rubber products that fully realize the benefits that this material offers.

FDA, USP, ISO, and NSF Acceptance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers silicone as appropriate for use in food and beverage applications, consistent with their requirements under 21CFR177.2600. This is due to the material’s chemical and physiological inertness. Additionally, unlike many other organic elastomers, silicone rubber tends to be more biocompatible and hypoallergenic.  Many silicone compounds are USP-VI and ISO-10993 compliant and have also achieved NSF-51 listing.  

Silicone vs Rubber

Silicone comes with several benefits over organic rubber that make it a more suitable option for many applications. These include the following:

Temperature and Flame Resistance

Silicone works in environments with a broader temperature range than natural rubber or organic elastomers. While organic rubber begins to deteriorate at around 80°C and can start to degrade at 120°C, silicone holds up to temperatures as high as 230°C. Organic elastomers also lose their elastic properties as temperatures approach -40°C, whereas silicones remain elastic in temperatures as low as -100°C.   Silicone also features better flame resistance, meaning it won’t ignite easily when brought close to fire. When the material burns, it produces minimal levels of noxious gas and black smoke. 

Weather Resistance

Over time, ozone causes organic rubber materials to deteriorate, but silicone doesn’t experience this. TPE’s and organic rubber products can also tend to shrink with exposure to the elements.  Silicone rubber also has the ability to hold up to rain, wind, and sun exposure for more than 10 years. Its resistance to UV and weathering makes it ideal for many outdoor applications, including window and door seals. Meanwhile, organic rubber tends to weather quickly and works best for indoor applications.

Silicone Rubber Applications

The properties of silicone rubber make it suitable for a range of applications, such as:

Insulating Materials

Silicone’s electrical behavior makes it ideal for use in insulating materials for products such as cable accessories. This is due to its superior dielectric properties, high volume resistivity, thermal resistance, and hydrophobic properties.

Medical Devices

Silicone rubber’s FDA , USP, and ISO compliance makes it a popular choice for use in sterile medical equipment.

Aircraft, Subway, and Building Interiors

Silicone makes closed areas such as building interiors safer because of the material’s flame resistance and low smoke generation.

Electronics

A variety of electronics use silicone materials because of their durability, thermal stability, and dielectric properties. Some electronics made with silicone include keyboards, keypads, copier rollers, and LED technology.

Door and Window Seals

Window and door seals often use silicone rubber due to its UV and weathering resistance.

Silicone Tubing, O-Rings, and Extrusions from Vanguard Products

If you’re looking for high-quality silicone rubber products, Vanguard Products offers a wide selection. Our extensive offerings include a range of standard and customized molded and extruded tubing, seals, and gaskets, along with specialty rubber products.

To learn more about our offerings and capabilities, contact us today. If you would like help finding the ideal silicone rubber product for your application, request a quote from us.

Why EMI Shielding Techniques Are Important for Smart Car Vehicles

Electromagnetic shielding has become a must-consider manufacturing aspect for modern vehicles, particularly those with self-driving functionality. Electromagnetic interference or EMI shields aim to ensure electromagnetic immunity and protect electronic equipment in the vehicle from interference.

Without shielding, electric vehicles and smart cars are more likely to incur malfunction of the components and experience equipment errors or malfunctioning, posing a significant danger to the vehicle’s occupants and others on the road. Here’s what you should know about EMI shielding and its importance in manufacturing smart cars.

Why is EMI Shielding Important in Vehicles?

EMI automotive shielding is any method used to protect sensitive devices from intercepting external electromagnetic signals or that prevents stronger signals from leaking and affecting surrounding electronics. Manufacturers achieve this by forming a Faraday Cage around the sensitive components. A complete Faraday Cage prohibits high-frequency signals from “leaking” out of the enclosure and, if designed correctly, can prevent outside signals from intruding onto the critical components.

Electronic devices that emit and receive signals are present in all modern vehicles. With so many signals being emitted, the chance of an errant electromagnetic signal being intercepted by the wrong device is significant. EVs and smart cars are particularly susceptible to EMI due to the magnetic fields produced by the cables connecting the battery and engine and the battery and charger. Whether it’s the GPS, computer diagnostics, or the radio, they are all susceptible to EMI. Errant signals can cause safety features to malfunction and components to break down, putting passengers at risk of bodily injury or worse. The following components are commonly exposed to EMI:

  • Battery chargers
  • Power converters and electric motors
  • Traction batteries
  • Interconnectors
  • DC motors
  • Engine control modules or ECM
  • Collision avoidance radar
  • Navigation system

EMI shielding gaskets are extremely effective ways to economically complete a cost-effective Faraday Cage to mitigate signal interference. EMI auto shields deploy a protective enclosure around the vehicle’s cables and circuits to reduce interference. Despite the effectiveness of shielding in protecting electronic devices in a smart vehicle, it doesn’t stop all forms of interference. However, this still offers the protection needed to keep integral electronic equipment running smoothly.

EMI Shielding for the Automotive Industry

There are different options when it comes to EMI shielding gaskets. Some common EMI shielding gasket materials include:

Silicone

Silicone is a common EMI shielding material for the automotive industry. Users can choose various options, such as silver in silicone, carbon-filled silicone, silver-plated copper, and nickel-graphite silicone. Nickel-graphite gaskets are a popular EMI material due to their low gasket costs, high shielding performance, and electrical properties, which often outperform the other options.

EPDM

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) comes in various forms, including silver in EPDM, silver-copper EPDM, Nickel-graphite EPDM, dense EPDM, and Silver-nickel EPDM, among others. Besides its excellent electrical resistivity, this material offers superb water and weather resistance, stability in high or low temperatures, resistance to tearing, and high versatility and flexibility.

Fluorosilicone

Fluorosilicone is also used in different forms, including silver in Fluorosilicone, silver-copper, Silver-aluminum, carbon, silver-nickel, and other options. This material offers stability over a wide range of temperatures, good compression, and excellent resilience in ultraviolet light, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and other conditions to which your smart vehicle might be exposed.

EMI Shielding Products from Vanguard Products

The steady growth of smart vehicle manufacturing furthers the push for sustainability prevalent in all industries at the moment. At the same time, they come with the risk of EMI, which can become catastrophic if not well managed. At Vanguard Products, we guarantee the best EMI shielding components for manufacturing smart vehicles and other industrial applications. Specifically, we specialize in:

Reach out to us today and request a quote for shielding products for your EV or smart vehicle.

What Is EMI Shielding?

Electronic devices and some natural weather phenomena release fields of electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can disrupt the devices’ ability to function. Governments place limits on how much EMI a device can emit or receive because EMI can cause problems like signal strength loss and malfunctions. EMI shielding is necessary to reduce or eliminate this interference and allow electronic devices to work correctly. Read on to discover why EMI shielding is important, common EMI shielding techniques, and where to find the best type of shielding for your application.

Why Is EMI Shielding Important?

Electromagnetic interference comes from both natural and manmade sources. It is imperative for devices to be protected from EMI not only from other devices but within themselves. EMI shielding is usually achieved using an enclosure made from conductive metal like steel or aluminum or by plating or painting a non-conductive material like plastic with a conductive media. These materials form a Faraday Cage around the emitting device limiting or eliminating the EMI from emanating from the enclosure. Adding an EMI shielding gasket is critical in completing the conductive path necessary for achieving the Faraday Cage. Without the completion of the Faraday Cage, EMI can actually be amplified causing even more issues.

Without electromagnetic shielding material, most electronic devices will not work properly. For example, a wifi router emits a signal for devices in the surrounding area to connect and stream data. If there is another device with inadequate EMI shielding in the same area, regardless of frequency, the signal from the router can actually interfere with the proper performance of the device or the device’s antenna system and cause the router to lose functionality. This can cause any number of malfunctions in both systems.

EMI electronic shielding is critical in these applications:

  • Military electronics
  • Medical devices
  • Communications equipment
  • Automotive control systems
  • Computers

Common EMI Shielding Tools & Techniques

The main purpose of EMI protection is to prevent interference in electronic devices so that they can function properly. However, the type of shielding will look different depending on the design and type of device. Some of the most common techniques for EMI shielding include:

  • Electrical enclosure boxes
  • Conductive metal enclosures
  • EMI shielding gaskets
  • Conductive spray coatings of copper or nickel
  • Electronic filter circuits
  • Ferrites
  • EMI mitigation techniques, such as moving the device away from other devices, changing the direction it is facing, or putting a wall between devices

EMI Shielding Products From Vanguard Products

Whether natural or manmade, electromagnetic interference can impede the ability of electronic devices to work, which can have disastrous consequences in emergency or mission-critical operations in the aerospace and military sectors. Avoid the malfunctions and system failures of poor EMI shielding and have your project evaluated by a team of experts that can find the best solution for your project.

Vanguard Products Corporation manufactures EMI shielding materials and products to serve the needs of many applications. Learn more about our Ultra-Vanshield Dual Function EMI Shielding/Weather Sealing gaskets, our Mil-Spec M83528 EMI/RFI shielding gaskets for military, medical, avionics, communications, and other devices. If you need temperature control with your EMI shielding, we have a wide selection of thermal interface materials. We can also custom-make fabricated EMI/RFI shielding products to meet your specific needs. Request a consultation today, or contact us for further information about our EMI shielding products and capabilities.

EPDM vs. Silicone Rubber

Rubber is a highly versatile material. It can be manufactured into many parts and products, from O-rings and gaskets to tubes and profiles. It is also available in numerous variations, each of which exhibits unique characteristics that make it suitable for particular applications.
Two of the most commonly used rubbers are EPDM and silicone. While these synthetic materials are similar in some ways, they are different in others; due to their physical, mechanical, and chemical differences, they are used in separate types of applications. Below, we highlight the unique advantages, disadvantages, and applications of EPDM rubber and silicone rubber to help readers identify which one is right for their projects.

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EPDM vs. Silicone Rubber

What Is EPDM Rubber?

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is a synthetic rubber that is ideal for use in a wide range of applications. It has a stable and chemically saturated polymer backbone structure, which gives it enhanced rubber characteristics. Its similarities to silicone include:

  • It offers chemical and temperature resistance (to varying degrees).
  • It provides electrical insulation properties.
  • It maintains flexibility in low temperatures.
  • It remains resilient when exposed to prolonged pressure (good compressions set).
  • It is used for seals and tubing.

Advantages & Disadvantages of EPDM Rubber

EPDM rubber has a number of advantages over other rubbers, such as:

  • Water resistance. EPDM exhibits the greatest water resistance of all rubbers, which is why it is widely used for outdoor applications. It is commonly utilized for roofing since it withstands exposure to harsh weather conditions like rain, sleet, and snow.
  • Electrical resistance. EPDM has excellent electrical resistance. This quality makes it well-suited for use in gaskets and other products used for electrical insulation.
  • Super tropical bleach resistance. EPDM is able to withstand exposure to harsh substances such as super tropical bleach (STB). This makes it ideal for military applications that are rated for exposure to nuclear, biological, or chemical warfare (NBC rated), as it is resistant to the cleaning chemicals used on this type of assembly.
  • Durability. In addition to bleach, electricity, and water, EPDM offers resistance to many other compounds and conditions that may cause material damage or degradation. For example, it is resistant to abrasion, alkalis and diluted acids, cold/heat, ozone, steam, tearing, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and weathering. These qualities make it highly durable, which is why it is a popular choice for construction applications.

However, there are also several disadvantages to be aware of when utilizing EPDM rubber. For example, its lifespan is somewhat shorter than that of silicone, meaning that it may require more frequent maintenance or replacement. Further, it does not have the broad service temperature range, both low and high, of silicones. Additionally, it is incompatible with concentrated acids, grease and oil, halogenated solvents, and hydrocarbon fuels.

EPDM Rubber Applications

EPDM rubber is ideal for many applications that require durability. Typical industrial uses include:

  • In the automotive industry, it is used for gaskets that provide protection against weather and reduce the force of vibrations.
  • In the construction industry, it is used for roofing, weatherstripping, and other components that require water and weather resistance.
  • In the consumer appliance industry, it is used to stop unwanted movement caused by vibrations.
  • In the enclosure industry, it is used for seals that prevent contaminant ingress and isolate vibrations.
  • In the HVAC industry, it is used for gaskets, grommets, insulation, seals, and tubing.
  • In the masking industry, it is used to create tight seals that prevent paint from reaching specific areas of a component.
  • In the military industry, it is used for gaskets and seals regularly exposed to extreme conditions.

What Is Silicone Rubber?

Silicone rubber is an inorganic polymer composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and silicon. Like EPDM rubber, it is highly resistant to chemicals, electricity, ozone, UV, and weather. However, while EPDM is generally used for specific applications, silicone rubber is more versatile and suited for general use across a wide range of industries.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Silicone Rubber

The advantages silicone rubber offers over other rubbers include:

  • Food-safe formulation. It is a sterile elastomer, which is why it is commonly used in the food and beverage industry for processing and serving equipment components (e.g., seals and tubing).
  • Low/high temperature resistance. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -67° F to 450-500° F.
  • Customizability. It is available in many formulations. Companies can customize the durometer, color, and other properties to suit their exact material needs.

While silicone rubber has many advantages, it also has some disadvantages. For example, it may not have the same abrasion and tear resistance as EPDM elastomers.

Silicone Rubber Applications

While silicone rubber is used in many of the same industries as EPDM rubber, it is generally utilized for different purposes.

  • In the HVAC industry, it is used for fan mounts that offer protection against shock and vibration and as seals in smoke dampers and louver systems.
  • In the medical industry, it is used for tubing in peristaltic pumps, as seals in ultracold storage containers, as sheathes for fiber optic bundles, and in surgical smoke evacuation tubing.
  • In the electronics industry, it is used for insulators, lubricants, and sealants.
  • In the cable management industry, it is used for cable straps and sheathes.
  • In the food and beverage industry, it is used for bakeware/cookware, food containers and utensils, and production machinery, beverage dispensers, and as seals on ovens, refrigerators, and freezers.

EPDM and Silicone Rubber Products From Vanguard Products

For additional information about EPDM and silicone rubber, ask the experts at Vanguard Products! Vanguard Products has provided custom rubber manufacturing solutions for over 50 years. This experience gives us the knowledge to answer or address any questions or concerns you may have about these materials.
We can also deliver high-quality, competitively priced rubber goods. From gaskets and seals to hoses and tubes, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about our capabilities or discuss your product needs with one of our team members, contact us or request a video consult today.

What Is EMI-RFI Shielding?

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) are common challenges for electronics manufacturers in an increasingly electronic world. EMI and RFI shielding gaskets are used in electronic devices to help shield sensitive components from outside electromagnetic and radio waves by helping to create a Faraday cage around the components. This ensures that the equipment works as intended. While EMI shielding was previously most commonly used for communication and military equipment, the increased ambient EMI radiation has made shielding critical for more electronics.

To prevent interference, it is important to choose the right EMI and RFI protection. EMI shielding gaskets are specifically designed to create a conductive path for electrical current between two surfaces within an electronic array helping to form a complete Faraday cage. This helps to ensure that the equipment’s conductivity is dependable while preventing the intrusion of EMI radiation. There is a wide range of EMI and RFI shielding materials and designs, each of which offers unique benefits for particular applications. Vanguard is a leading provider of custom engineered and manufactured EMI and RFI shielding gaskets for a broad range of industries.

Manufacturing Processes for EMI Shielding

MANUFACTURING PROCESSES FOR EMI SHIELDING EMI/RFI shielding gaskets are manufactured using a variety of manufacturing processes, depending on the material, shape, size, and intended application of the gasket. The most common manufacturing processes used to fabricate shielding gaskets include:

Die-Cutting

Die-cutting creates gaskets from a substrate material using a press and pre-cut die tool. The material is placed on top of a metal die that exhibits the desired shape. A press is lowered onto the material, pressing it into the sharp edge of the die, and creating a clean, precise cut of the desired shape. This method is quick and repeatable with minimal tooling required.  However, there is a high degree of waste.

Molded Shielding Gasket

The molding process uses pre-fabricated molds and uncured elastomers to create a variety of components. The uncured elastomer is forced under pressure into a mold and then heated under pressure to initiate the cross-linking and curing of the elastomer. Once the material has cured, the part is ejected and the mold can be used to create more of the same. This process is ideal for complex components with multiple cross-sections, and it produces parts within tight tolerances. It also uses less material than other manufacturing processes, which makes it perfect for gaskets made from expensive specialty materials.

Extruded Shielding Gasket

Extrusion involves forcing an uncured elastomer through a tool with the desired shape. The extruded material forms a long, continuous piece that is then cut at the desired length. The resultant part is long, with a consistent shape along the entire length of the component. Shielding gaskets made using extrusion are typically used to seal grooves and flanges. Extrusion is quite often the ideal process for high volume parts.

Form-in-Place Gaskets

Form-in-Place (FIP) gaskets consist of a single line of conductive silicone applied directly to the surface of the equipment. FIP gaskets tend to take up less space and do not require molding, die-cutting, or other processes to create a reliable EMI shield that fits closely within compact designs. It is, however, fairly expensive with limited mechanical elastic properties.

Get More Information on EMI/RFI Shielding

Vanguard Products is a preeminent provider of quality EMI/RFI shielding gaskets for a wide range of applications and industries. Our experienced and knowledgeable engineers will work closely with you to determine the particular needs of your application. With a thorough analysis of your system, we can provide the perfect gasket design and material for superior performance, extended service life, and minimal equipment downtime. 

No matter how complex your application, we have the equipment and skill to produce the perfect gasket for your needs. To learn more about our EMI shielding gaskets, or for assistance with selecting the right gasket for your application, contact us or request a video consultation today.

Vanguard Products Corporation Announces Additions To Field Applications Support

Vanguard Products Corporation is pleased to announce the addition of two organizations to provide valuable technical and commercial support for its Ultra-Vanshield and General Rubber Goods Divisions.

 

In Eastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, we are proud to add Strategic Sales Group, 333 Bishops Way, Brookfield, WI 53005-6226, Phone 414-333-3035, website:  www.ssgmfg.com, email:  bob@ssgmfg.com.  Strategic Sales Group brings over 25 years of experience in the marketing and applications support of mechanical rubber and metals products to our extensive support network.

 

In Utah, Nevada, Montana, and Idaho, we are pleased to welcome Rich Baraki to our Marketing Technologies team, supporting the applications and sales of our Shielding and Thermal Composites product line.  Rich is located in Salt Lake City and has an extensive background in chemical engineering and technical sales, sales management, engineering, and project management.  Marketing Technologies’ website can be located at www.marketingtech.com.

 

We are looking forward to advancing our sales and customer support efforts in these two areas.

Vanguard To Present At October Meeting Of Golden Gate Polymer Forum

Vanguard will be presenting at the October meeting of the Golden Gate Polymer Forum as part of their 2 part series on the implications of 5G for polymeric materials needs on October 14, 6:30 PM Pacific Time. The discussion will cover Thermally Integrated EMI Shielding Materials, Systems and Approaches for Optimal Performance

To Register For Either or Both Events, Click Here

 

 

Vanguard Electronica Plans Put On Hold

 

Due to the continuing Coronavirus Pandemic and travel restrictions into Germany and the EU, the USA Pavilion has been cancelled for this year, and current plans for Electronica 2020 are unclear.  Check back later for further details.