Rushed job gets seal of ap­proval

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - PLASTICS -

Elite Poly­mers is a Hamil­ton-based plas­tic man­u­fac­turer that uses in­jec­tion mould­ing, ex­tru­sion and blow mould­ing, to man­u­fac­ture a range of cus­tom and pro­pri­ety prod­ucts.

Trail Com, a firm that spe­cialises in the man­u­fac­ture and dis­tri­bu­tion of trailer com­po­nents such as sus­pen­sions, brak­ing sys­tems, cou­plings and ac­ces­sories, ap­proached Elite Poly­mers with an is­sue that needed to be solved quickly.

Staff at Trail Com had a prob­lem with an in­fe­rior seal de­sign in a trailer mas­ter brake cylin­der – it was caus­ing leak­ing to oc­cur un­der cer­tain cir­cum­stances. The leak could cause brake f luid to be sprayed on ex­pen­sive trailer boats, so there was a lot at stake.

A so­lu­tion was re­quired quickly to fix the is­sue for the sum­mer boat­ing sea­son. Trail Com had tried to source a ‘ready made' part through their con­tacts in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, but none could be found to fit the cylin­der size re­quired. A new di­aphragm would be made to sep­a­rate the brake f luid from the air and ex­ter­nal mois­ture, cre­at­ing a leakproof seal as well as elim­i­nat­ing other po­ten­tial is­sues such as con­den­sa­tion/ mois­ture get­ting into the brake f luid.

Elite Poly­mers had the new di­aphragm de­sign drawn up on Solid­Works. To en­sure the new di­aphragm would be fit for the task it was de­cided to get a pro­to­type made to con­duct func­tion­al­ity test­ing.

A 3D model was made, then a sil­i­cone outer mould was cast around that.

Two pot ure­thane ma­te­ri­als were poured into the mould, cre­at­ing di­men­sion­ally cor­rect and f lex­i­ble sam­ples

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