RL HUDSON SUCCESS STORIES
This component was to be secured to an exhaust pipe and needed to seal around the inner wall of an irregularly shaped, tapered coolant jacket cavity. The cavity is in a cast housing. Due to the casting tolerances and the tolerances on the length of the tube which locates the seal along the taper, the seal has to accommodate approximately three millimeters of tolerance.
Working with the customer and our materials department, we began testing designs. Using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modeling, we quickly progressed through six design variations before settling on the final geometry. The structural component was analyzed in four different materials and the rubber seal geometry was looked at in six different profiles.
The final design relies on silicone rubber to accommodate most of the tolerance. If the tolerance is excessive, a thirteen percent glass filled nylon beam deflects to absorb the rest.
The overmolded assembly functioned correctly on the first try thanks to all of the virtual prototyping. In the end, we created a functional part on the first try without all of the time and expense of physical prototyping.
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