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11/07/2019

Our Word is our Bond

Step aside super glue. AVMR take sticky to the next level.

It’s hard, it’s complex and there’s no wonder that many large-scale manufacturers are working hard to engineer it out of their products: bonding rubber to metal effectively – in a way that ensures a hard-wearing, long-lasting bond able to take high-stress applications in its stride – is as tough as it sounds. But while other suppliers seek workarounds and shortcuts, we at AVMR have the technology to do the job.

While rubber or another polymer does the hard work in an anti vibration system, sooner or later (most likely sooner) it has to meet the strong, metal (usually) frame onto which it is mounted. Generally speaking, while the metal component moves, the rubber element removes energy from this movement (or does it’s best to) and the other side of the system feels the benefit, with reduced vibrations.

Bonding rubber to metal is a specialist job. It’s possible to dodge it entirely or at least minimise the amount of trouble and expense spent on it. There are applications where the rubber is effectively ‘clamped’ between two components, literally holding the two sides apart, and – purely by the construction of the mount and the way that the rubber is moulded inside it – it is unable to ‘escape’. However, it is more common (and more useful in more applications) if the rubber is bonded to the metal.

The Sticking Point

Which is where things get hard. With most gluing tasks, the glue is connecting two finished products – two halves of a broken plate, for example. However, with our components the rubber product that you are bonding to metal doesn’t yet exist… That’s because the rubber needs to be moulded to the metal in addition to being bonded to the metal. And to ensure a good bond you need to prime it first.

The primer is sprayed onto the metal to provide a topcoat that our bonding agent and rubber will love. The primer mechanically connects to the metal. That is to say – like fingers gripping a surface, like the tightening of a nut on a bolt – there is a mechanical ‘grip’ between the two elements. This gives us our solid base.

Rubber needs a chemical element in order to grip to this primer. That comes from our bonding agent which we spread onto the primer, place it in the mould and then introduce the rubber in a form that’s practically liquid. As it cures, the bonding agent chemically bonds the rubber to primer. Job done. So, what can go wrong?

Problems lie in the accurate placement of bonding agent. Much as over enthusiastic use of Airfix glue on that model plane tended to ruin the final results, so inaccurate use of bonding agents can ruin the job in hand. The bonding agent is actually stronger than the rubber itself and will play havoc with performance if it were to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. To achieve the precision required we use unique, bespoke 3D printed masks that are cut to ensure only the required surfaces get the treatment.

AVMR to the Rescue

It’s this next-level bonding that has seen us win custom from large-scale manufacturers who simply lack the skill or time to create the types of bond that they need and our process delivers, having engineered it out of their process to cut corners. And AVMR’s flexibility and customer service meant we were able to supply 25,000 flawless components just a few weeks later.

Some companies will use a single layer to save money (or simply don’t have the skill to provide anything more complex) but the best bonds require the greatest know-how. And they last the longest time. And that’s not just good for our customers in terms of maintenance and replacements, it’s better for the environment too.

So join us, go the extra mile and build the best with AVMR.

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