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The groundhog told us this weekend that Spring is just around the corner, and with that one’s thoughts turn to………SYRUP!
In our area of the country, you’ll start to see buckets hanging from trees and tubing zig-zagging through the woods in hope of collecting that precious nectar from the sugar maples. This process takes a lot of work along with miles (and miles and miles) of tubing, just to extract a small amount of finished maple syrup for our pancakes and waffles. If you are interested in getting involved in this as a hobby, some good resources are located at https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/maplesugaring.pdf and https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs.cornell.edu/dist/7/5773/files/2016/06/Tubing-Notebook-6th-edition-2fpl9ze.pdf.
Vanguard silicone tubing can be used in many places throughout the collection and processing of maple sap into maple syrup. Silicone provides a high level of resistance to weathering and UV radiation. It also will not leach harmful plasticizers into the sap running through the tubing. Vanguard’s food grade silicone products are consistent with FDA and NSF requirements for food contact applications, and, because they are silicone, will not support mold growth in the bore. Further, they maintain their flexibility in temperatures down to -60F or lower, and can handle temperatures as high as 400F+, so they are ideal for applications in the sugaring process from collection, right on to low pressure transfer during the evaporation process.
More information on our food grade tubing offerings is available at
We will be exhibiting in booth 3496 of the 2020 Pacific Design & Manufacturing/MDM West Show, 2/11/20 through 2/13/20 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA. Come visit us to see the latest in elastomeric technology.
For a free exhibit hall pass, visit https://anaheim.im.informa.com/2020/registrations/DM?_mc=sem_x_ana_le_tsnr_pacificdm_x_goog_b&MCAID=77FB1CFE532B22840A490D45@AdobeOrg
We will be exhibiting in the USA Pavilion at the 2020 Electronica, 11/10/20 through 11/13/20 at Messe Munchen, Munich, Germany. Stay tuned for further details
For an exhibit hall pass, visit https://electronica.de/visitors/planning-your-visit/purchase-ticket/index.html
Precision engineered elastomeric component and EMI/RFI shielding gasket manufacturer Vanguard Products Corporation, Danbury, CT USA, announces the opening of its new engineering support and applications development office in Shanghai, China.
Vanguard (Shanghai) Electronic Material Co., Ltd 钒价德（上海）电子材料有限公司, will provide technical support and development for our extensive customer base on mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. The office will work in close coordination with our distributor, EG (ShangHai) Commercial Co., Ltd, providing an unmatched level of engineering, development and commercial support in China for our products manufactured in the USA.
A strong technical presence in China and the Far East has always been a priority for Vanguard Products. The high concentration of manufacturing in the electronics and telecom industries in China has presented us with the opportunity to devote extensive engineering and customer support resources in the area. In conjunction with our distributor partner, we believe that we have established a presence in China that will best serve the growing demands of our China based customers and our domestic US customers who are specifying products for production within China. The location in the technology hotbed of Shanghai is ideal for this purpose.
Vanguard is looking forward to many years of success in this important market.
For Further Information Contact:
Mark Hansen, Sales & Marketing Manager, Vanguard Products, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 203-744-7265
Taylor Tang, Regional Technical Sales Representative, Vanguard (Shanghai) Electronic Material Co.,Ltd, 钒价德（上海）电子材料有限公司, Phone: +86-13661873176, E-mail: Taylor@vanguardproducts.com
Fluorosilicone rubber (FVMQ) is a variation of silicone featuring stability, compression set resistance to temperature extremes, and enhanced resistances to non-polar solvents, fuels, oils, acids, and alkaline chemicals. This material is common in many industrial, automotive, and aerospace applications where static sealing and cushioning is required.
FVMQ contains trifluoropropyl groups, making it highly versatile for outdoor sealing applications or environments where exposure to sunlight, ozone, chlorination, or aromatic hydrocarbons is common. The basic properties of fluorosilicone include:
- Temperature range: -60–200º C
- Compression set: Fair/good
- Strength: Fair
- Low temperature properties: Excellent
- Abrasion resistance: Poor
- Gas permeability: Fair
- Weather resistance: Excellent
- Water resistance: Excellent
- Ozone resistance: Excellent
- Mineral oil resistance: Excellent
- Chemical resistance: Excellent
- Flame resistance: Excellent
- Heat resistance: Excellent
A comparison between fluorosilicone and silicone in relation to their use in O-rings, gaskets, tubing and seals allow users to choose the best solution for specific applications.
Fluorosilicone vs. Silicone
Silicone elastomers—also known as silicone rubbers—are composed of silicone, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are non-reactive, stable, and resistant to extreme environments and temperatures from −55–300° C (−67–572° F). They share these characteristics with fluorosilicones.
Fluorosilicone rubber distinguishes itself from silicone because it also contains additional beneficial properties common to fluorocarbons. The addition of these compounds enhances FVMQ’s capacity to resist solvents, fuel, and oil. Fluorosilicone has a slightly lower maximum service temperature hot air resistance than silicone.
Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets Tubing and Seals
Fluorosilicone’s distinctive properties make it ideal for use in the sealing solutions found in engines, machines, and other mechanical systems. Common fluorosilicone sealing components include:
- O-rings. Shaped like a donut, O-rings are usually seated within a groove on one or both of the joined parts where they form a seal, where they block the escape of air and fluids by filling in the space between coupled components.
- Gaskets. Gaskets provide a flexible seal between two joined components. They are usually flat and relatively thin, with bolt or pin penetrations through them. Compressed between two flat surfaces, gaskets provide sealing as well as vibration control.
- Seals. This is a general term for any component that prevents fluid/air leakage fluids, blocks contaminants, or maintains pressure. O-rings and gaskets are types of seals, but the term usually applies to application-specific sealing solutions held in place by compression, such as oil seals found in engines.
O-rings, gaskets and seals fill the space between two joined parts in a machine or engine, allowing for the conveyance or transfer of fluids or air between them without leakage. Beyond fluid and vapor leakage, these components prevent debris from entering into mechanical systems and maintain consistent pressures to ensure optimal performance.
Recommended Uses of Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets Tubing, and Seals
Certain systems, environments, and applications benefit from the use of O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals created with fluorosilicone, including:
- Jet fuel systems
- Dry heat environments
- Broad temperature range environments
- Some petroleum oil applications
- Chlorinated solvents environments
Non-Recommended Uses Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets Tubing and Seals
Though their properties provide ideal solutions in the above instances, there are other applications where the use of fluorosilicone O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals will produce less desirable or negative results, including applications containing:
- Ketones (MEK)
- Phosphate esters
- Some acids
- Auto/aircraft brake fluids
- Amines (ammonia)
Benefits of Fluorosilicone O-rings, Gaskets, Tubing and Seals
There are certain special features provided by fluorosilicone O-rings, gaskets, and seals. Seals made of FVMQ provide benefits such as:
- Excellent flexibility and compression set resistance
- High-level aging, weather, and UV resistance
- Resistance to animal and vegetable oils, fuels, oxidizing chemicals, aromatic and chlorinated solvents
- Capacity to withstand aliphatic and aromatic fluorocarbons, diluted alkalis, toluene, benzene, ozone, diester oils, silicone oils, and oxidative environments
Fluorosilicone Sealing and Tubing Solutions from Vanguard Products
The specialized properties of fluorosilicone provide many of the benefits of silicone while adding additional resistances to non-polar solvents, fuels, oils, acids, and alkaline chemicals. These benefits make it the right solution for the formation of O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals used in many industrial, automotive, aerospace and aviation applications.
Vanguard Products Corporation is a provider of fluorosilicone O-rings, gaskets, tubing, and seals for these and other applications. Contact us to learn more about the fluorosilicone sealing solutions available from Vanguard.
Silicone is a versatile synthetic rubber used in nearly all industries for applications ranging from seals and tubing to insulating paints or films. Unlike similar organic materials such as natural rubber latex, which have a carbon-to-carbon backbone, silicone’s silicon-to-oxygen backbone makes it stable, resistant to damage, and flexible enough to be processed into end-use products with a variety of properties in a broad spectrum of temperatures from very high to very low.
Silicone can be processed into many forms, such as:
- Solid silicone rubbers
- Water-proofing agents
- And more
Common silicone products stay stable elastically and mechanically across a wide range of temperatures from -60° C to +200° C. Specialty silicone products, such as certain types of silicone rubber and fluorosilicone, also possess a high tensile strength and extreme low and high temperature performance. For example, certain high-consistency rubber (HCR) silicone products have a tensile strength of more than 1800 psi., and are functional in temperature ranges from -75° C up to 220° C or higher.
Some of the most common types of manufactured silicone products include:
- Adhesives, including both liquid adhesives and pressure sensitive tapes
- Caulks, protective or waterproof coatings, and sealants
- Electrical Insulation
- Molds for fabrication
- Silicone resins
- Silicone rubbers tubing, profiles, and molded seals
These products and more are used across every industry, including but not limited to:
- Food Preparation And Handling Equipment
- Consumer goods
Before companies select the final type of silicone material for a product, it’s important to know the properties of silicone.
Properties of Silicone
Silicone is the name for a general class of inorganic polymers that include materials both stable enough and flexible enough for industrial purposes. While there are several different types of silicone polymers, each one has a central strip, or backbone, of alternating silicon and oxygen.
Along the edges of this backbone are varying methyl groups that give silicone polymers their different properties and applications. Using organic methyl replacements can lead to unique properties, such as increasing the material’s flexibility at low temperatures or increasing solubility.
General silicone properties include:
- Silicone polymers can be fabricated to remain soft and pliable throughout their lifetime without fatiguing, hardening, cracking, or requiring plasticizers. This makes this material optimal for products that undergo repeated loading/unloading, such as tubing in peristaltic pumps.
- Hydrophobic properties. Silicone seals repel water to protect underlying materials without restricting breathability. This property is essential in waterproof coatings and films, and insulating components.
- Low rotation barriers. Silicone’s molecular backbone has low rotation energy, which gives it greater rotational freedom that contributes to the material’s flexibility.
- Resistance to aging. Silicone resists degradation caused by UV radiation, chemical exposure, and poor environmental conditions.
Physical Properties of Silicone
Silicones can be processed and formed into different shapes and sizes, which then retain properties such as:
Silicone’s silicon-oxygen chain backbone gives the material great flexibility, even once it’s been set and molded. Silicone components can be folded, bent, and twisted without suffering damage.
Silicone materials use comparative scales called Shore hardnesses to characterize their hardness. The two commonly used Shore scales for silicones are Shore 00 for silicone sponge products and Shore A for dense products. Commonly used dense silicone materials typically have a Shore hardness of 30A-70A on a scale of 0-100A. Specialty grades can go as low as 10 Shore A to as high as 90 Shore A. For comparative purposes, 20 Shore A indicates a “feel” similar to a racquetball and 80 Shore A feels more like the tread on an automobile tire.
Color and Finish
Silicones in their original state are translucent white. Silicone polymers can be colored and finished to have different hues and surface textures.
Electrical Insulation and Conductivity
Silicones in their original state are highly insulative electrically. As such, they are often used in applications where high dielectric strength is needed. What is unique about silicone is that they accept high levels of fillers and retain processability. As a result, they are often filled with conductive fillers to achieve very low resistance and are used as seals on electronics to provide EMI/RFI shielding.
Thermal Insulation and Conductivity
Silicones in their original state are highly thermally electrically. As such, they are often used in applications where low heat transfer is needed, such as in tubing for fluid conveyance in food handling or oven applications. What is unique about silicone is that they accept high levels of fillers and retain processability. As a result, they are often filled with materials to increase their thermal insulation even more, or conversely, with thermally conductive fillers to achieve very high heat transfer, such as for thermal interface (TIM) materials in electronics.
Because silicone is a thermoset elastomer, it does not truly melt. It will continue to function and retain its elastic and mechanical properties to the point where enough energy is imparted to the polymer that the polymer chain starts to break down. In general, silicone rubber can withstand temperatures as high as 300° C.
Silicone polymers can be fabricated into set shapes and dimensions that hold their form after crosslinking. These forms include:
- Complex molded components
With these properties, silicone is the ideal material for manufacturing O-rings, gaskets, tubes, and solid seals. These silicone O-rings and other parts are thin, flexible, and resistant to temperature extremes and chemical damage.
Silicone Rubber Properties
Silicone elastomers are one subgroup of silicone polymers. The material is stable, easy to handle, and usually formed into components through the extrusion or molding processes. Through a variety of fabrication processes, silicone rubbers can form custom rubber gaskets and seals, rubber tubing and silicone tubing, rubber and silicone extrusions, and more.
Beneficial properties of silicone rubber include:
- Flame retardancy and steam resistance. Silicone rubber’s general resilience to heat, steam, and flame damage make it a good material candidate for components in engines, processing plants, and cooking or food preparation industries. The material can be used safely across a wide range of temperatures. When it’s specially formulated for temperature extremes, it can be used at a low of -100° C to up to 250° C.
- Food-grade materials rating. Silicone rubber seals and component extrusions are ideal for food production and handling. Food-grade silicone is ideal for fabricating cooking tools, conveyance tubing, oven/refrigeration seals and other parts or surfaces used during food production and handling. Because it does not require plasticizers to achieve flexibility, silicones do not impart taste or leach chemicals such as BPA into the food it contacts. Silicones are commonly available in grades consistent with FDA requirements for food contact detailed in 21CFR177.2600 and are available in NSF-51 listed compounds.
- Good compression set. Silicone materials exhibit a high resistance to compression set after the curing process is complete. As a result, silicones retain consistent mechanical properties over their life.
- UV resistance.While natural rubber is subject to aging over time due to sunlight exposure, silicone rubber’s silicon-oxygen composition makes it much better suited for prolonged UV exposure. This makes silicone rubber ideal for exterior applications featuring regular or prolonged sunlight exposure.
- Resilience and rebound. Silicone materials are typically flexible and return to their original form after flexing or bending. The flexibility of the end product will ultimately depend on the hardness rating of the raw silicone material.
- Strong adhesion to metals. Silicone adheres well to metal materials, such as during molding and extrusion
- Tensile strength.Silicone rubber’s tensile strength ranges from 200-1,500 psi, depending on the fabrication process and compound formulation. Some grades of silicone rubber can also be stretched to 700% of its original dimensions before cracking or ripping under the tension.
- Highly inert. Silicone rubber is considered an inert substance, meaning that it doesn’t react with many chemicals or biological elements. Further, it is considered hypoallergenic making an ideal replacement for natural rubber/latex in skin contact and medical applications. Many grades have been testing to requirements detailed in USP Class VI.
Fluorosilicone vs. Silicone
Fluorosilicone is a variant on the silicone polymer with unique characteristics that make it an ideal material for caustic conditions and environments that face temperature and pressure extremes. While both fluorosilicone and silicone are long-lasting and elastic materials, fluorosilicone has greater chemical resistance properties. It can better withstand damage from the following non-polar solvents:
- Alkaline chemicals
- Oils and hydrocarbons
Fluorosilicones provide longer-lasting EMI/RFI shielding in exterior environments, environments with exposure to chemicals. This makes fluorosilicone ideal for components and seals in the following industries:
- Aerospace and aviation
Fluorosilicone is also commonly used for cushioning and static sealing applications, and for tubing to convey non-polar solvents.
Silicone vs. Natural Rubber/Latex
While both silicone and natural rubber are elastomers, their chemical compositions are very different. Unlike silicone’s inorganic silicon-oxygen backbone, rubber has a carbon-carbon bond backbone. Natural rubber is an organic compound, though it can also be synthesized.
Silicone is often considered to be ‘inorganic rubber’ due to many of the shared characteristics between the two materials. However, silicones can be created with a greater range of special properties so industry-specific parts can be customized for long-lasting use in adverse conditions.
Silicone’s superior strengths over natural rubber/latex include:
- Greater resistance to heat damage.
- Increased resistance to chemical attacks, corrosion, and degradation from prolonged exposure to caustic and acidic compounds.
- Greater resistance to damage from fungus and organic buildup because the material itself is inorganic.
- More resistant to ozone attacks.
Both materials can be used to create EPDM tubing for O-ring fabrication, seals, and more across multiple industries.
Silicone Temperature Ranges
One of silicone’s greatest strengths is its resistance to both heat damage and degradation of elastic properties in low temperatures. Silicone gaskets, for example, can weather temperature extremes of -50° C to 250° C (-60° F to 480° F). Different silicone polymers can be specially created and fabricated to withstand different ranges on this spectrum while retaining or enhancing additional qualities.
Industrial Silicone Products from Vanguard Products
Silicone is a versatile, stable synthetic rubber material that can be used across all industries. The material is easy to handle and can be formed to produce O-rings, gaskets, seals, complex components, and liquid adhesives and seals. Its many valuable properties include:
- Ability to be chemically modified in fluorosilicones, organic-inorganic mixtures, and hundreds of varied polymers
- Conductivity and use in electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI shielding) and RFI shielding gaskets . Silicone is also ideal for the fabrication of M83528 EMI/RFI shielding gaskets.
- Food grade ratings
- High tensile strength
- Resistance to chemical damage and corrosion
- Water resistance and hydrophobic sealing
Silicone is the ideal material for extruded and molded parts for industrial, commercial, and consumer products. For more information about our expansive line of silicone-based industrial products, please contact us or request a quote.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires have been causing unimaginable destruction across the country. But there is another phenomenon that has the potential to cause immeasurable damage to modern infrastructure – coronal mass ejections and solar flares.
The sun is millions of kilometres away from the earth – yet disturbances on its volatile surface can push us back into the dark ages.
Solar Flares & Coronal Mass Ejections (CME)
There are super active spots on the sun where the magnetic field is particularly concentrated. Often there are explosions around these regions which result in the ejection of a wide spectrum of radiations running the gamut from visible light to X-rays. These events are known as solar flares and based on their intensity – which is measured on a logarithmic scale – they can either expose air travellers to an increased dose of radiation or wreak havoc on GPS and satellite communication.
While solar flares are to be held in awe – coronal mass ejections (CME), often confused with solar flares are even more potent. They take a while to reach us but the directional blast comprises solar matter particles which cause distortions in the earth’s magnetic field and can cripple electrical grids.
NASA’s Response to Solar Flares and CMEs
NASA has a good idea of the repercussions of solar flares and coronal discharges. In its attempt to “keep the lights on,” it has started the Solar Shield project through which the North American grid system can identify power stations and generators that might be hit the hardest during an event so that pre-emptive and remedial measures can be put in place.
More Solar Flare Mitigation Techniques
NASA is vigilant. But that doesn’t mean all industries can rest easy. A class X behemoth can still cause a lot of damage to ground equipment, especially for military, aviation and sophisticated telecommunication.
Under these circumstances EMI/RFI shielding products prove to be effective. They act as a buffer between items and the coursing electromagnetic currents ensuring the continued operation of sensitive equipment.
Vanguard has been at the forefront of this niche and is capable of supplying EMI/RFI shielding gaskets, manufactured to customer specifications.
Please speak with a representative by contacting us at 203.744.7265 or click here to learn more about our capabilities.
One of the challenges commonly encountered by an engineered products company of our size is adequately supporting our customers around the globe. This has become more of an issue over the past couple of years as many companies work on a single project simultaneously in multiple locations. It is not unusual now for an engineering team to be located in Northern California, Texas, India, and China, all working on different aspects of a project, but requiring quality engineering and supply support in each location.
Vanguard has had the extreme good fortune of working with the highest quality representatives and distributors around the world for many years. Long ago, we were on the cutting edge of establishing technically competent partners in nearly any location to support our customers. Domestically, many of our one dozen representatives have been our partners for nearly thirty years. A similar statement can be made of our 10 international partners spanning from Scandinavia to the Far East and Australia. We have established extensive production capabilities at our joint venture operation in Japan.
As the markets continue to grow, we continue to work with our partners to further expand our coverage.
In the meantime, we’d like to thank our partners for their excellent support, and encourage all of our customers and potential customers to take advantage of their outstanding applications skills.
2016 was a milestone year in many ways, and for us, it marked 50 successful years in business. For half a century now, we’ve been providing full service manufacturing and engineering services to industries as diverse as electronics, construction, food and beverage production, and more. Over the years our capabilities have grown, and our commitment to quality has never wavered.
From the humble beginnings in the family basement in the 60’s to our sophisticated manufacturing today, it is interesting to look back at some of the things that our company has been involved in over the years.
In the last 50 years, Vanguard has:
- Worked with our customers to bring air conditioning, lighting, and electricity to the world
- Brought quality coffee, wrinkle free clothes and various other innovations to the marketplace through our work in the small appliance industry
- Helped advanced the defense of the US with our work with the military and military contractors, including work on Marine 1, the President’s helicopter
- Aided in the exploration and commercialization of space travel with our work on the International Space Station and the various commercial launch companies. We’ve also been involved in the pursuit of the next frontier–Mars
- In the medical arena, we’ve worked with our customers to develop implements for cranial surgery, provided products for various surgical implements to decrease recovery time, helped develop products that allow children with respiratory ailments and paralyzed patients to breathe easier, and provided cutting edge products that allow children and adults with severe diabetes to lead more normal lives. Additionally, we’ve done substantial work in the medical analytical field from blood to DNA analysis. We’ve also provided numerous products to our customers in the dental and vision care industries to improve safety
- Manufactured products used by our customers to aid the booming cellular and computer industries
- Worked with our customers in the green energy fields in the development of efficient solar power systems and electric vehicles
- Added style to the fashion industry and theater through our work on Broadway sets and fashion jewelry
- Provided key products to allow clean water to be brought throughout the world
- Supported farming through our work with suppliers to the agricultural and dairy industries
- Helped the hobbyists around the world in their leisure time endeavors, from RC cars and planes, to hunting and fishing, to canoeing and paddleboarding, to beer making and virtual reality gaming
- Along with our customers, developed new innovative products for the food services industry
At Vanguard, though it is good to look back, we are always focusing forward. In the next year, we will be pursuing our ISO-9001/2015 certification, and looking to new markets and applications. We are looking forward to what the next 50 years will bring!
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.