The key was integrating precise selective notching during the process
Dexter, Michigan (PRWEB) July 15, 2008
Improve part performance and aesthetics. Reduce weight to improve fuel efficiency. Cut costs. If you can deliver any two of these three on-going goals of automakers, you get their attention. Do all three, and you get a chance to change the industry standard.
An extrusion process innovation from Jyco Sealing Technologies, a global tier one supplier, achieves exactly that in the specialized area of automotive sealing systems, the rubber-like buffers around doors and windows that seal the vehicle's interior from moisture, noise and dust.
To understand how this will change the future of weathersealing, start with a quick look at the past. Back in the 1970s, automotive weatherseal suppliers devised a way to bond extruded rubber seals to metal carriers that gave the part structural support. Drawing from huge coils of flat stock with repetitive notching patterns, metal lengths were roll-formed into U-shapes and other configurations. The notches enabled the part to be bent without buckling into the shape of, say, the driver side window, and attached in a relative snap to a flange on the door.
It was a big leap, but the metal carriers brought with them three issues that persisted until now: the weight and cost of the metal, plus a visible waviness that occurred where the rubber was bonded over the notches.
Jyco's new co-extrusion technology, which the company is patenting and trademarking as JyCore, replaces the metal carrier with a polypropylene one that's extruded right in the production line. During the process, the plastic carrier is selectively notched only at the points and to the degrees that the part needs to conform to the flange. A softer TPV sealing surface is extruded and permanently bonded to the structural carrier in the same production line.
Compared to its metal counterpart, the JyCore carrier can reduce the weight of the part as much as 46%. Lower raw material costs along with easier processing (no exposed metal ends needing to be finished or rust-proofed) reduce overall costs as well.
Expertise in extrusion technology is one of Jyco's calling cards. Since the company's founding in 2000, the tier one supplier has been leading the OEMs' migration away from EPDM rubber seals to more versatile and eco-friendly ones made with thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV).
Jyco's patent-pending process enhances TPV's green appeal in several ways. TPV is recyclable. EPDM is not. Scrap that contains metal components requires the extra step of separating the materials before they could be reprocessed. Any scrap from Jyco's coextruded TPV/PP process is directly recyclable.
Taming hungry horse, too.
Jyco's new process improves the seals' aesthetics as well. A drawback of the old process was that a slight waviness - known as "hungry horse" in the industry vernacular - occurred in the rubber where it was bonded over notches in the metal. The problem was more noticeable in straight areas where the notches weren't functional. For decades it was considered an aesthetic compromise that rode along with the economies of using pre-notched metal.
Jyco's new co-extrusion process corrals that problem too. "The key was integrating precise selective notching during the process," commented Shawn Jyawook, Jyco's chief operating officer. "The co-extrusion solution resolves the waviness issue that's saddled the industry for 30-plus years. No more hungry horse."
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The Slocum Group