United Seal & Rubber offers custom fabrication services in addition to our Parker (Seal) Engineered Materials and Chomerics offering. At the heart of our fabrication services that we offer is die cutting. In its simplest form, die cutting involves a steel rule die, a hydraulic press and some type of raw (gasket)material. Our capabilities allow us to offer our customers both low volume gasket cutting services up to high volume gaskets. For example, we have quoted up to 35 million gaskets annual volume on a recent quote package. In addition to our die cutting services, we can offer both waterjet and laser cutting that doesn’t require an investment in tool. Either way, a tooling charge will not cause a stick shock reaction because a steel rule tool often cost only a couple hundred dollars. The price can be less or more than a couple hundred depending on the size of the die. Materials examples include solid rubber elastomers (neoprene, fluorocarbons, nitrile, etc.), cork & rubber, sponges, non-asbestos materials and many more options.
In addition to die cutting, we offer slitting options. Think weatherstripping when you are visualizing a slitting operation. There are many industries that have a need for flitted materials. Examples include the lighting industry, electronics industry, telecommunications industry and many more… The most common materials in this category involve some type of sponge; i.e. open cell, closed cell, neoprene, blended sponges, silicone, Poon, etc. Often, our customers will choose to have the materials supplied with a pressure sensitive adhesive backing so that the strip can be applied (glued) to their matting surface.
A third custom fabrication service we offer is custom splicing and vulcanizing of o-rings, shapes and gaskets. This can be a solution that offers cost saving vs. going with a molded part for a custom option. While o-rings are a standard product and hundreds to thousands of standard tools are available, we do see request come through for a custom size that standard tooling isn’t available. If the need involves a static seal application vs. a dynamic seal application, a splice & vulcanized o-ring is a very cost effective option. Even if tooling is needed, the tooling necessary is much cheaper than a molded tool option. The splice itself is extremely robust and some customers have used these type o-rings in dynamic applications but most engineers choose not too. However, with a static application there is no concern for the splice being the weak link because there isn’t an force being applied to the seal.
United Seal and Rubber is splicing and vulcanizing four corner gaskets daily. These gaskets involved an extruded profile and we vulcanize the corners, most often forming a square or rectangular gasket. These gaskets can range from small in size to very large in size. Again, they are less expensive than a molded gasket option or offers options when the gasket size prevents molding as not being a viable option. Typically, there isn’t stress applied to these type gaskets, so stress on the joints do not become a concern. In some cases, we utilize our die cutting equipment to add bolt holes to the extrusions prior to vulcanization. Tooling is often involved so that the corners can be vulcanized but the tooling is generally not very expensive.
While our daily activities mostly involve the operations listed above, our capabilities are not limited to these processes. We get involved in custom assemblies, kitting and other custom fabrication. We have designed and produced custom equipment that allows us to provide these services to our customers. It is hard to describe what we offer outside our normal processes but not to overuse a common term, but we do think outside the box with our fabrication capabilities. A good example of this is the fact that some of our customers use us to manage the supply chain for them. While we may not provide the entire assembly in house, we outsource some of the components and provide the final assemble, thus product to our customers. At the end of the day, we welcome a challenge!