Market requirements prompted Steinbach AG from North Rhine‐Westphalia to have a vulcanizing line developed that produces seamless elastomer sheets in oversize. Previously, plants were only produced in China, which produced similar membrane formats. After two years of development and construction, the plant has been in operation since last year. Since then, numerous special products with narrowly defined parameters have been vulcanized.
Previous vulcanization plants produced elastomer sheets only with a width of 1.60 to 1.80 meters. In addition, seams had to be used, which were a weak point, especially in the case of severe elongation. With the new Rotocure D320 vulcanizing system, Steinbach Ag is able to dispense with seams during vulcanization for membrane widths of up to 3.20 meters.
The company’s own 3D pure water blasting equipment and plotters also make it possible to produce large‐format geometries to customer specifications.
From the customer base in the sealing industry, the need for large seals crystallized.
The high‐quality products are used in many industrial sectors. Seals and stamped parts made of a wide variety of elastomers are required in particular in mechanical and plant engineering, but also in shipbuilding, the aircraft industry, and pipeline and pump construction. The possible applications for diaphragms are very diverse. For example, they are suitable for installation in the offshore and refinery industries.
German product quality “Made in Germany” continues to be in high demand among customers.
The problem of seals with interfering joint seams is reflected in many ways:
It starts with the right choice of adhesive (minimum quantities & expiration date). The resistance of the adhesive is not always comparable to the resistance of the raw sheet. The different elongation behavior of the adhesive to the raw panel must also be taken into account. Gaskets are more susceptible due to the adhesive and will loosen after a period of time due to pressure and chemicals. Outgassing of the environment attacks the adhesive and can lead to the destruction of the seam.
In some cases, there are step or thickness tolerances within the sheets/seals (depending on thickness and material selection) which must be ground. The time required for seam production should not be underestimated.
When using large‐format flat gaskets, a seamless solution is very advantageous and the easy assembly without special handling is helpful.
The Rotocure D320 processes a wide variety of elastomers “Made in Germany” up to a width of 3.20 meters and a material thickness of 0.5 to 6 millimeters.
The Steinbach AG material portfolio ranges from silicone, NR, EPDM, CR and NBR to FKM.
The elastomers meet the highest quality requirements and have, for example, Siemens standard SN 53145‐1. In addition, they are resistant to transformer oil, biogas and biodiesel.
Outlook for further development
The innovative medium‐sized company Steinbach sees itself prepared for the future. Steinbach AG continues to tinker with new compounds in order to expand the material portfolio to meet special customer needs.
Samuel Steinbach Tel: 05231/9607‐66 E‐mail s.steinbach@steinbach‐ag.de