Sealing the deal

CeraCon is a foam sealing company, based in the Midlands. it offers a unique foam sealing process as an alternative to self-adhesive, manually applied gaskets.

CeraCon’s systems use robotics to apply 3D foam seals directly to parts. The flow rates and speeds can be adjusted to apply larger or smaller beads, ranging from 1.6-20mm wide. The foam can also be applied in 3D profiles or double face application, curing in minutes at low temperatures, providing significant control and flexibility to the design process. Hardness can also be adjusted according to application requirements.

Although the company has grown over since it was set up in 2013, the exploration into new industries has its challenges. Rob Jones, managing director, says: “We become involved in projects at different phases. Unfortunately, we frequently see parts already designed, tooling made, and a sealing problem subsequently found. In many cases our sealing technology can recover the situation, but we are limited by inherent design features. Our wish is to have greater involvement at the CAD and 3D model or SLA stage. Therefore, a designer can evaluate before expensive mould tools are cut.”

The design specifications for the CeraPUR foam gasket, for flat surfaces, is a simple height to width ratio. At CeraCon a ratio of 1:2 can be reached and applied to any gasket. If the foam is applied to a groove and the gasket is higher than the upper edge of this groove, normally the same rule applies. This means that within the tolerance given above the maximum reachable height of the upper edge of the groove is equivalent to half the width of the groove. This simple specification is often not applied to designs and therefore can have an effect on the end product.

CeraCon has recently worked with the lighting industry in its largest alliance yet. ASD Lighting is meeting the demands of both customers and the latest building regulation requirements by using an alternative to traditional sealing techniques.

Ultimately, when creating a sealant, compression of more than 20% allows the gasket to become splash proof. CeraCon foam achieves an optimum compress of 40-70% after resealing several times. This was ideal for ASD who required high IP level rated parts.

Author
Paul Fanning

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