Category Archives: Automotive

How Engineers Choose Rubber Lubricants

A Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Approach to Selecting Assembly Lubricants

Rubber is everywhere! Have you ever stopped to consider how many rubber parts are in your car? Or your dishwasher? Or the airplane flying you away to your dream vacation? So many items that we use every day are composed of thousands of rubber parts of varying size and shape. Each of these components plays an integral role in how that item functions and performs down the road.

Rubber is truly a unique material. It is elastic yet strong, smooth yet tacky, lightweight yet insulates and protects, and soft yet abrasion-resistaRubberPartsnt. Rubber stretches and compresses, waterproofs no matter its thickness, and remains flexible over a wide temperature range. What’s more amazing is that any of these properties can be optimized by compounding rubber articles using select elastomers, fillers, processing aids, activators and vulcanizing agents. Rubber’s versatility is only limited by one’s imagination. It’s no wonder rubber is so valuable in many industries for an unlimited number of applications including vibration and sound dampening, sealing, electrical and thermal insulation, chemical transport and waterproofing.

Rubber is quite versatile. It can be pushed, pulled, stretched, compressed, or heated to fit in, on, or over anything. Rubber is inherently tacky and can be squeezed into tight areas, but it is naturally slip resistant making it difficult to install, remove or manipulate. It’s not unusual for rubber parts to slip during assembly and not go exactly where they’re intended: an O-ring may get twisted, a heater hose may not be fully inserted, a gap can appear in a waterproof seam. Successful assembly can be tricky. Improper assembly can lead to a multitude of problems including destroyed parts, warranty claims, recalls and worker fatigue or injury.

So, why has rubber installation always seemed to be an afterthought?
Coating rubber parts with a liquid to provide lubrication prior to assembly helps avoid some of the aforementioned problems. Traditionally, lubricant choice was based on convenience. Line workers would find whatever substances were in the plant and use them for rubber assembly. Some common choices were soap and water, alcohol, gasoline, motor oil, petroleum jelly and silicone spray. While these products do provide lubrication, they also introduce health and safety risks and may damage rubber parts.

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Enter the Engineers…
To protect product integrity and ensure environmental and worker safety, engineers became involved in the lubricant selection process. Design Engineers, Lubricant Engineers and Ergonomic Engineers all take part in choosing the proper lubricant for each assembly process.  Design Engineers are concerned with design tolerance, part breakage, production rates, dry time and material compatibility.  Lubricant Engineers are more focused on performance, cost, regulatory compliance and toxicity approval.  Ergonomic Engineers remain focused on worker safety and consider factors such as friction and effort reduction, production rates, quality and consistency, and health and safety hazards.

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Lubricants Are a Part of the Design Process
As a result of these concerns, lubricants are now included in the initial design phase of many engineered parts. In addition to detailing all facets of the part, material specifications now include the accompanying assembly lubricant and its proper assembly technique. Design stages include a battery of lubricant trials and choices are made based on performance, cost and safety. More and more frequently, water-based lubricants are the product of choice.

The Power of Water-Based Lubricants
A well-formulated oil-in-water emulsion overpowers the low surface energy of rubber. This means the emulsion completely coats the surface without beading up. The oil portion has a natural affinity to the rubber surface and the water is exposed to the environment, facilitating evaporation. Only a thin layer of oil contacts the rubber, an ample volume for successful assembly. The thin coating ensures no residue, temporary lubrication, no compatibility issues and a safe working environment. Once assembled, the water evaporates and the lubrication ceases.

Water-based lubricants can be formulated with different properties making them ideal for essentially any assembly application. Lubricant properties such as viscosity, dry time, biodegradability, compatibility, and surface residue (such as adhesiveness) are all taken into consideration. Engineers can now choose a lubricant tailored exactly to their needs before production begins, eliminating many of the problems that used to occur after assembly.

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The lubricant selection process has evolved so that it is now a true collaboration between Design, Lubricant and Ergonomic Engineers.  Download our presentation here, and learn more about this multi-disciplinary engineering approach to selecting assembly lubricants. Contact IPC’s technical team to help you find the best solution for your assembly needs.

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Hassled By Hose Assembly? P-80® Lubricants Can Help!

Rubber hoses are everywhere! Have you ever stopped to consider how many everyday items have hoses? Cars, trucks, buses, planes, boats, motorcycles, construction equipment, appliances, pumps, and medical equipment all contain hoses.

So, what exactly is a hose? Hoses are flexible hollow tubes that transport fluids, or gases, from one location to another. It’s easy to see how hoses are an integral part of all of the items mentioned above. Hoses allow gas to travel from the fuel tank of your car to the engine, water to move from the water line in your home to the dispenser on your refrigerator, and medicine to flow through an IV unit.

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Most hoses are attached to other parts of an assembly by some type of connector, usually referred to as a coupling or a fitting. Hose fittings are typically made of metal or plastic. Anyone who has ever worked with rubber parts knows they can be difficult to assemble. Trying to install, remove or manipulate tight fitting rubber components can be a real challenge.

Since hoses are so vital, it’s important to make sure they are assembled properly to avoid problems later on. Parts that are improperly aligned or installed may result in performance or safety issues. Hoses and couplings are designed with a tight fit so they stay together after assembly to function properly and avoid leakage. The insertion force needed to complete the assembly can be extreme, sometimes causing worker injury.

So, how do you make hose assembly easier? P-80® temporary assembly lubricants can help! P-80 temporary rubber assembly lubricants significantly reduce friction to help rubber parts slide easily into place. P-80 lubricants are water-based, and do not contain alcohol or petroleum distillates so they will not cause rubber to dry out, swell or harden. P-80 does not contain silicon or other persistent ingredients, so once dry you have a tight fitting part.

What are the advantages of using P-80 lubricants?
• Reduce the force required for installation
• Increase production rates
• Reduce part breakage, leaks and rejects
• Allow for closer fitting part design
• Reduce risk of musculoskeletal and slippage related injuries

What if my hoses undergo pressure testing immediately after assembly? P-80 lubricants provide temporary lubrication, once dry the lubrication ceases and parts stay in place. International Products Corporation (IPC) recommends using P-80® Grip-It for hose assemblies that are pressure tested or drop tested immediately after assembly. P-80 Grip-It provides the lubricity needed to complete your assembly and then dries quickly to allow the natural tight fit of rubber to return. When dry, P-80 Grip-it leaves a tacky finish to help parts stay in place, making it an excellent choice for use on pressure-tested hoses. Download our case study detailing how one major appliance manufacturer benefited from using P-80® Grip-It for dishwasher hose assembly to reduce drop test failures.

In addition to Grip-It, P-80 is available in five additional water-based formulas, including two that are approved for use in incidental food contact applications. P-80 lubricants offer superior lubrication and are compatible with a variety of surfaces. They are environmentally friendly, most are biodegradable.

Make hose assembly easier with P-80! Contact IPC’s technical team to help you find the best solution for your assembly needs.

 

 

What is the dry time of P-80®? (And, why it matters)

Why does dry time matter?

P-80® lubricants are temporary assembly lubricants. When P-80 is wet it provides the needed lubrication to reduce the friction of rubber parts during assembly. Once P-80 dries the lubrication ceases and parts stay in place.

Some assembly applications may benefit from using a quick-drying lubricant. This is often the case in processes where pressure testing takes place immediately after assembly, such as powertrain hose applications. In other assembly operations, achieving maximum lubrication may be the primary goal and dry time is less important.

What is the average dry time for each of the P-80 lubricants?

While all P-80 products are temporary lubricants, the average dry time varies depending upon which P-80 formula you are using. The table below lists the average dry time for each of the P-80 lubricants.

P-80 Formula Estimated Minimum Dry Time
P-80® Emulsion and P-80® Emulsion IFC 1 hour
P-80® THIX and P-80® THIX IFC 2 hours
P-80® Grip-It 20 minutes
P-80® RediLube 20 minutes

Can I adjust the amount of time it takes for P-80 to dry?

The dry time of each of the P-80 formulas can fluctuate depending on the amount applied, part tolerance, material porosity, and temperature. In some cases it can take up to two days for P-80 to fully dry. The dry time of each P-80 lubricant can be altered by changing the variables listed below:

  • Volume of P-80 applied
  • Tolerance of Fitted Parts
  • Porosity of Materials
  • Temperature

If you have tested the above variables and are still not satisfied with the dry time, you may want to try a different P-80 formula.

For a quicker dry time try P-80 RediLube or P-80 Grip-It. For a longer dry time try P-80 THIX.

Contact us to speak with a specialist and request a sample for testing. Download our free P-80 dry time ePaper for more information.

Deciphering Reach and RoHS…The Alphabet Soup of Safety Standards

There are many safety standards that apply to chemical products. As new standards and regulations emerge it can be difficult for those who buy and use chemical products to keep up-to-date with proper safety requirements. Many businesses use chemicals in their day to day operations for manufacturing and maintenance. Sometimes it may seem as though the regulations are an alphabet soup of acronyms designed to overwhelm and confuse the average person. Consumers of chemical products rely on manufacturers to comply with all regulations and standards.

RoHS

What is RoHS?
RoHS is an abbreviation for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. Specifically, it restricts the use of certain hazardous materials in electronic products. It is a list of substances that are not permitted in electronics or electrical devices sold in the EU. The RoHS directive applies to all components that are involved in the assembly of electrical products, not solely the finished goods.
What substances are restricted under RoHS?
The following materials are banned under the RoHS directive: lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and four different phthalates (DEHP, BBP, BBP, DIBP).

Why is RoHS important?
RoHS compliance is mandatory. The substances banned under RoHS are hazardous to the environment. These substances are also harmful to workers using them during the manufacturing process and consumers that use the finished products.

REACH

What is REACH?
REACH is an abbreviation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. REACH is an EU regulation designed to protect human health and the environment from chemical harm. REACH is monitored by ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency.

What substances are restricted under REACH?
REACH applies to all chemical substances, not solely those used in manufacturing or industrial processes. So chemical products used in everyday life, like household cleaning products and paints, home appliances and clothing are also affected. Currently, REACH restricts the use of 38 chemicals, the full list can be found on the ECHA website.

What about SVHC?
SVHC is an abbreviation for Substances of Very High Concern. These substances are put on a candidate list for REACH authorization and are called the REACH SVHC List. This list of substances is updated frequently. The full list of REACH SVHC substances can be found on the ECHA website.
Substances on the REACH SVHC list are:

  • CMR: classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic (category 1 or 2)
  • PBT: persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic
  • vPvB: Very Persistent and very bio-accumulative
  • substances for which there is evidence for similar concern such as endocrine disruptors

Why is REACH important?
Like RoHS, REACH was enacted to ensure environmental and personal safety when using chemicals.

REACH AND RoHS: How they differ

Both REACH and RoHS are safety regulations designed to protect workers, consumers and the environment. REACH is monitored and implemented by ECHA, while RoHS is an EU directive that is monitored by the individual states. The substances banned by RoHS include a list of 10 specific substances (as of the writing of this post), while those prohibited by REACH keep growing as new hazards are discovered. In general, REACH is much broader in scope than RoHS. In both cases, it is the responsibility of the manufacture to ensure compliance with all regulations.

Manufacturers must continually monitor not only the substances that are restricted by these regulations, but also those under consideration. In some cases, finding a suitable substitute for a banned substance can be very difficult. Compliance for manufacturers is time consuming and expensive, but safety has to be their number one concern.

Safety concerns? IPC has you covered!

As a chemical manufacturer, International Products Corporation (IPC) takes its responsibility to the environment and its customers very seriously. All of IPC’s water-based lubricants and cleaners comply with RoHS and REACH directives, and can replace traditionally used corrosives, phosphates, solvents, petroleum distillates, and other hazardous chemicals. IPC maintains a zero discharge policy and all of its products are developed and manufactured in its Burlington, New Jersey, ISO 9001 certified plant.

IPC is committed to keeping abreast of environmental and regulatory trends and best practices to continually improve the quality and safety of its products and facilities. For more information contact one of IPC’s product specialists.

A Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Approach to Selecting Assembly Lubricants

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International Products Corporation (IPC) is giving a presentation at the SAE World Congress Experience at the COBO Center in Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday, April 11th at 2:30 PM (EST). Thomas McGuckin, IPC’s VP of Research, Quality and Safety, will discuss “A Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Approach to Selecting Assembly Lubricants”. The presentation will focus on the benefits of using assembly lubricants in manufacturing, and will discuss how Design Engineers, Lubricant Engineers and Ergonomic Engineers all work together to select assembly lubricants. Show attendees are encouraged to attend the presentation. Visit IPC at booth #6019 for expert technical support and advice on ways to ease rubber assembly operations.

 P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants significantly reduce the force required to assemble rubber and plastic parts.  Six unique water-based formulas are truly temporary – once dry the lubrication is gone.  IPC’s on-site laboratory offers FREE technical assistance and compatibility testing.

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  • Significantly reduce the force required for assembly
  • Reduce part damage
  • Reduce worker slippage and musculoskeletal injuries
  • Temporary – once dry, the lubrication is gone
  • Non-toxic, biodegradable
  • Ready-to-use

FREE SAMPLES are available for testing.

The slip resistant nature of rubber or soft plastic components makes assembly difficult. P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants significantly reduce friction, helping parts slide easily into place. P-80® lubricants are water-based and do not contain solvents, silicon or petroleum distillates, so they are temporary and compatible with many materials.

IPC manufactures specialty chemical products, including cleaners and assembly lubricants.  Their P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants are uniquely formulated for the installation of belts, bushings, grips, grommets, hoses, O-rings, seals, and other parts. All of IPC’s products are made in the USA, and are sold worldwide.

Read more about temporary rubber assembly lubricants including how to use them and factors to consider when choosing a lubricant. Or, contact IPC’s technical team to help you find the best solution for your assembly needs.

How To Install Rubber Grips in 5 Easy Steps (And maybe even improve your golf game!)

Need to replace the rubber grips on your bicycle or golf clubs? Sounds easy, right? If you’ve ever tried replacing grips on golf clubs, bicycles, motorcycles, tools or exercise equipment you know first-hand how difficult it can be.

Foam grips and rubber grips are purposely designed to fit snuggly so they don’t wiggle once in place. Properly installed, tight fitting grips won’t slip when the equipment is in use. But getting them in place, without ripping, tearing or using excessive force, can be a real challenge.

Traditional methods of installing grips include using petroleum based products, hairspray, solvents, grease and even soap and water. While these solutions might provide the lubrication needed to install the grip, they can degrade the rubber or they may not dry completely. Both of these scenarios can cause the grips to slip or spin later on while the equipment is in use. Imagine your frustration if you miss that hole-in-one because the new grip on your golf club moved while you were swinging?

Experience the Easy Way to Install Rubber Grips with P-80® Grip-It. Grip-It is a quick-drying temporary assembly lubricant that eases installation of tight-fitting rubber and plastic parts by reducing the force needed for assembly. Once assembly is complete, Grip-It dries quickly and provides resistance that helps keep parts in place. Watch below to see how grips slide easily into place (and then stay put) with P-80-Grip-It.

5 Easy Steps For Replacing Grips
Whether you are replacing an old grip on a bicycle or golf club, or installing a new grip on a tool or motorcycle, use this no-struggle method for assembly.

  1. Remove the old grip completely. Use a utility knife to carefully cut a slit in the grip. Be sure to cut away from yourself to avoid injury.
  2. Thoroughly clean the handle. It’s important to remove any residue left by the old grip. Clean the surface thoroughly and wipe dry. This will make it easier to apply the new grips.
  3. Squirt inside of new grip with P-80 Grip-It. Apply Grip-It to the interior of the grip. This can be done easily with a spray bottle. Dipping or brushing application methods also work well.
  4. Slide grip easily into place. Once Grip-it is applied the grip should slide into place. Push, rather than pull, the grip onto the handle. Pushing a grip will slightly enlarge the opening, whereas using a pulling motion will decrease it. Be sure to position the grip exactly where you want it, facing in the right direction. Reposition if necessary while the grip is still wet.
  5. Allow completed assembly to dry before use. Let the assembly dry thoroughly. Once dry the grip stays in place.

Rejuvenate your old gear with new grips. Grips provide cushioning and support on many types of equipment. In addition to making your apparatus look newer, replacing the grips on your bicycle or golf clubs provides better grip control. Some grips, especially on power tools and motorcycles, protect the user’s hands from vibration and shock. Installing new grips provides you with an opportunity to tailor the size, cushioning, texture and firmness of the grip to best meet your needs.

For more information about using P-80 Grip-It to install rubber grips contact one of IPC’s technical specialists.

 

Stop Struggling … See How Temporary Lubricants Make Rubber Assembly Easier!

Have you ever struggled with rubber assembly? If so, you’ve probably experienced for yourself the excessive force needed to properly install hoses, seals, gaskets, O-rings and many other rubber parts. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came up with a better way?

Your wishes have been granted! Temporary rubber assembly lubricants were developed specifically to solve this common problem. Temporary rubber lubricants can ease assembly processes and significantly reduce the force needed to assemble rubber parts.

So, how effective are temporary assembly lubricants? Why not see for yourself? International Products Corporation (IPC), manufacturer of P-80® temporary rubber assembly lubricants, put together this short video showing the reduction in force obtained by using P-80® Emulsion to assemble a rubber hose.

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The results of this test are dramatic. A 63% reduction of force was achieved by using P-80 Emulsion for this assembly. A digital force gauge manufactured by Mecmesin was used for measurement. The amount of force needed to assemble a dry piece of hose was 196 Newtons. IPC’s test lab then lubricated the same hose with P-80 Emulsion and the amount of force needed for the same assembly dropped to 72 Newtons. That represents a reduction of force of 124 Newtons or 63%.

What are some of the advantages of reducing the force required to install rubber parts?
• Allow for tighter fitting part design
• Improve product performance
• Increase production rates by allowing for faster assembly
• Reduce worker injuries by decreasing the assembly force required
• Reduce part rejection

The next time you’re having trouble with hoses, seals, gaskets, O-Rings or any other rubber part, remember to use a temporary rubber assembly lubricant and watch the parts slide into place with much less force. Temporary lubricants are ideal for rubber assembly because they reduce the friction needed to assemble parts.

Want more information about temporary rubber assembly lubricants, including how to use them and factors to consider when choosing a lubricant? Contact IPC for help finding the best solution for your assembly needs.

 

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