WEB EXCLUSIVE: The Windsor Mold Group (WMG), Windsor, Ont., is using a Santoprene TPV from ExxonMobil Chemical, Irving. Texas, to reduce the cost and improve performance and processability of the bulb seal on cowls for Ford Motor’s C-Max hybrid electric vehicles. In the unusual extrusion system from Reis Robotics, Elgin, Ill., an extrusion die is mounted on a flexible heated hose and guided by a Reis jointed-arm robot. This is said to quickly and efficiently apply the Santoprene 121-5-E500 TPV bulb seal directly onto the PP cowl, eliminating costly and time-consuming manual assembly. This process reportedly creates a functional seal that can be handled immediately, with no post-curing as is required for thermoset EPDM rubber commonly used in this application.
Outstanding sealing to the cowl with excellent dimensional stability is claimed. “The creation of a chemical adhesive bond between the TPV seal and the cowl provides excellent sealing performance,” says Jack Bekou, new business development and R&D manager at WMG. In addition to decreasing costs by eliminating manual assembly, he note that any TPV production scrap can be reused, saving money and reducing waste. EPDM rubber bulb seals are typically connected to the cowl with mechanical attachments, which can move and affect seal performance.