The Life of a Rubber Grommet
Rubber grommets have nearly innumerable uses in the
industrial world. They are used to protect wires, hoses, pipes, and more. They
are used as vibration dampers, spacers, and finishing components. They are used
to fit into a pre-drilled hole for a tighter fit. All industries use rubber
grommet parts, including the automotive, motor, tool, appliance, electronic,
and consumer industries. Applications like air lines, wiring, tubing, rope, and
cable can call benefit from the use of grommets.
A rubber grommet starts as a simple piece of rubber, either
synthetic or natural rubber. The rubber is then formed into the grommet shape
using a mold. Some companies use die molds and others use injection molds to
create the grommets. After manufacturing, the grommets are shipped to the
companies that use them for their manufacturing purposes. Some are shipped
directly to consumers.
In action, a grommet does exactly what it is intended to do.
Rubber is a highly versatile material that is resistant to many forms of
corrosion, including temperature, chemicals, and oils. Natural rubber will
eventually break down, but many synthetic rubbers have a lifespan that extends
beyond that of natural rubber.
One advantage to using rubber grommets over other grommet
types is that rubber is inexpensive and recyclable. This means that when the
grommets are no longer useful, they can be recycled and turned into other
rubber products, or perhaps back into grommets. This helps keep manufacturing
costs low for all industries.
No matter what industry, a rubber grommet is often involved
in the production process at some point- whether you are manufacturing vehicles
or electronic parts or anything in between.
Rubber grommets are rubber rings that can be placed around an opening in
a surface. Grommets are used to protect surface openings from tearing
or breaking, and they protect objects that pass through the openings.
For example, rubber grommets are often used to protect wires or cords
that pass though openings in metal surfaces that would otherwise be too
jagged or sharp.
Rubber grommets are used to protect other objects. The plastic or rubber insulation around electrical cables is particularly vulnerable to abrasion or to breaking after repeated flexing at its point of entry through a surface. Some wiring varieties are vulnerable to damage if exposed to thin, hard surfaces because of the risk of crimping. Rubber grommets that protect wiring are usually broad and round, which prevents thin wiring from becoming crimped at an angle. In industrial settings, many kinds of machinery and control equipment are housed in punched sheet metal; wire entry points in punched sheet metal are often fitted with rubber grommets to protect wires from becoming damaged. Many factories and warehouses are equipped with ceiling-suspended, retractable power outlets. After repeated pulling and movement, power cables can become damaged or disconnected if not properly secured. Rubber grommets can be used in this situation to snugly hold wires at their point of contact to avoid damage to connection points.
Rubber grommets are usually made of extruded rubber, though they can also be molded. Rubber extrusion is the process by which raw rubber is forced through equipment that heats and pressurizes it. Once the rubber becomes molten, it is forced through a die, which is a tool designed to shape raw materials into usable products. When the rubber emerges on the other side of the die, it is allowed to cool and harden, at which point it is cut and becomes a finished grommet. Extrusion is not always a suitable grommet fabrication process, though, as it can only produce very simple shapes. Injection and compression molding processes can produce more complicated shapes. Both processes begin the same way as extrusion; the rubber is heated to a molten state. Rather than using a die, though, molding processes involve the injection of molten rubber into a cavity. Once forced into a cavity, molten rubber conforms to the contours of the cavity. Compression molding provides compressive force to the rubber which ensures that the rubber will come into complete contact with the cavity’s surfaces. After the molding is complete, the rubber is ejected from the mold, and it is allowed to cool and harden. The product is then cleansed of imperfections if necessary and sent for shipment or additional processing.
Rubber Grommets – Britech Industries
Rubber Grommets – Britech Industries