Category Archive: Manufacturing

Material of the Month: EPDM Rubber

Highly Resistant and Versatile: A Solution for Everyday and Specialty Applications

This blog post is the third installment of a new CGR Products content series called “Material of the Month.” The series spotlights some of the unique materials that CGR works with, as well as their common applications.


Material selection can make all the difference when bringing a simple design idea to life. From cross linked polyethylene (XLPE) to acrylic foam tapes, our Material of the Month series highlights the benefits of these unique materials. This week, we’re featuring EPDM rubber.

What is EPDM Rubber?

neopreneEthylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, also known as synthetic rubber, is a smooth elastomer used in a wide variety of both specialty and general-purpose applications. It is resistant to heat, weather, and steam, and also functions as an excellent electrical insulator.

Benefits and Uses

EPDM rubber is exceptionally resistant to heat, oxidation, electricity, ozone, weather aging, and polar solvents such as alcohol, water, ketones, alkalines, and diluted acids. The water resistance and insulating qualities make EPDM rubber a popular choice for cable-jointing and other electrical applications.

EPDM rubber’s most frequent use is in seals for automotive vehicle windows, doors, and trunks, as well as cold-room doors, such as a refrigerator. The material’s strong insulating properties help to prevent water, heat, or cold from entering the sealed environment.

Other common uses of EPDM rubber include:

  • Automotive weather stripping
  • Tubing and hoses
  • Belts
  • Glass-run channels
  • Washers

Custom Fabrication at CGR

At CGR Products, we offer smooth, black commercial EPDM sheet rubber with thicknesses ranging from 1/16” to 1/2” and a PSI of 725. Our precision die cutting, knife cutting, and waterjet cutting services can trim synthetic rubber sheets to fit the exact shape and size required for your application.

Want more information about working with EPDM? CGR offers charts with information about ethylene propylene’s relative costs and average temperature ranges.
Find the Temperature Range & Cost of Your Polymer Material

How Are Rubber Materials’ Tolerances Calculated?

Rubber parts are becoming more popular for manufacturing because of their ability to deliver flexibility in a wide range of temperatures and situations. Versatility is a top benefit, but only if materials are designed correctly.rma-tolerances-example

To prevent failures of critical parts and processes, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has developed a table of tolerances that can guide in design decisions. Tolerances rely on industry standards for a variety of processes, considering cure time, temperatures, compound registration, and more.

With help from the RMA designed table, you can easily address design questions, and not over or under design the part.

Importance of Adhering to Tolerances

Rubber tolerances allow engineers to design and create products that meet the design. Making known that you adhere to RMA-prescribed tolerances helps your customers know you are meeting their design criteria.

Understanding RMA Tolerances

RMA tolerances also give you a great place to initiate discussions with purchasers when they’re looking for specialty pieces. Rubbers at long lengths can stretch or compress easily during the manufacturing process, so tolerances for longer lengths give you a starting point so you can make arrangements for measurement techniques.

Tolerance schedules are extremely important to engineers. CGR Products’ RMA Tolerances Table shares length and width tolerance dimensions of die-cut sheets or strip, expanded, and closed cellular rubber.

You can rely on this guide to ensure adherence to RMA standards for drawing designation thicknesses of .030 inches to more than .50 inches. The guide will help assure that your parts and products meet requirements from standard through non-critical applications. It includes an example of how to calculate tolerances for a material.

Download the RMA Tolerances Sheet and keep your engineers on target and your customers satisfied.

Download Our: RMA Tolerances Sheet

Material of the Month: Acrylic Foam Tapes

VHB Tapes can replace mechanical fasteners, liquid adhesives and more

This blog is the first in a new CGR Products content series titled “Material of the Month.” The series will spotlight some of the unique materials and their applications that CGR works with.

Our first material on the list is acrylic foam tape.


What is acrylic foam tape?

CGR handles and converts a wide range of acrylic foam tapes manufactured by 3M. Very high bond (VHB) tapes can act as a fastener in place of mechanical fasteners, liquid adhesives, and more in certain scenarios.

3M TapeThe closed-cell foam is viscoelastic, utilizing energy-absorbing, and stress-relaxing properties. VHB can also conform to the irregularities of all rigid substrates, even when there might be a slight mismatch, while maintaining high internal strength.

Benefits and Uses

Acrylic foam provides outstanding strength and durability for even the most demanding applications. It offers an instant and permanent bond for both static and dynamic forces in exterior and extreme conditions. The material can absorb shock against wind, vibrations and other high performance stresses.

In tests, the VHB tapes yielded 92% retention of peel adhesion after the roll was aged for more than 5 years at 150°F. Initial tack and liner release properties were still excellent, proving VHB’s ability to tolerate long-term exposure to periodically elevated temperatures.

In addition, the all-acrylic construction of these tapes offers:

  • Resistance to extreme temperatures, UV light, moisture, and solvents
  • Sealing against environmental conditions
  • Prevention against bi-metallic corrosion
  • Elimination of pull-through, dimpling, and weld distortion

Custom Fabrication at CGR

As a 3M Preferred Converter, the CGR team has years of experience customizing acrylic foam tapes to fit specific shapes, sizes, and profiles for different projects. Our precision die cutting services, including rotary and flatbed die cutting, as well as die-less knife cutting can deliver custom kiss-cut parts on a continuous roll or pad, ready to use.

To access performance data and learn how 3M VHB tape can benefit your application, visit our library of technical data on acrylic foam tapes.

Access Data Library for 3M Acrylic Adhesives

Cutting vs. Converting – What’s the Difference?

Don’t Get Tangled Up in Terminology

Waterjet CuttingThe CGR team gets a lot of requests for cutting, converting, and fabricating. Fortunately for our customers, we do it all. As far as we’re concerned, these terms refer to the same process — the process of transforming a raw material into a precision component for your part.

If you participated in Manufacturing Day this month, you may have gotten a chance to dig into some of the processes and services from manufacturers across the country. We’re happy to break down some of our cutting capabilities right here, right now.

We specialize in flexible, non-metallic materials at CGR Products — that means custom parts, shapes, sizes and forms for markets of all kinds, cut from an immense range of elastomer, rubber and related thermoplastic materials. Each and every material — and family of materials — comes with specific capabilities to accommodate all types of industries.

Cutting, Converting or Fabricating?

As we said above, we do it all. Some of the specific methods we use to cut and convert materials at CGR include:

Die Cutting: Both rotary die cutting and flatbed die cutting are optimal for high volumes and precise tolerances.

Kiss Cutting: This special type of cutting (or converting) transforms sheets of material into sheets of parts that can be removed individually from a backing or liner.

Knife Cutting: This is one of the fastest methods for producing a part. It’s great for prototypes.

Slitting and Splitting: A shearing process, slitting or splitting takes a large roll and trims it into narrower or thinner rolls or sheets.

Waterjet Cutting: The accuracy and precision of a water jet cutter is ideal for soft materials.

Don’t forget that we also offer custom manufacturing and fabrication for projects that demand molding, extrusion. laminating and beaded gaskets.

Check out all of our available services, or call the team to discuss your particular project today. We look forward to cutting, or converting, or fabricating with you!

North Carolina Manufacturing Facts

For over 50 years we have provided North Carolina and the surrounding areas with cutting precision gaskets for MRO applications and OEM and MRO products for different markets. As we continue to be a key player in the manufacturing industry in North Carolina, we would like to note that manufacturing plays an important role in our state.

An extensive number of companies make up a diverse group of manufacturers in the state of North Carolina. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the total manufacturing output in North Carolina was $76.8 billion as of 2009, and employed approximately 431,400 manufacturing workers in 2010.

North Carolina’s manufactured goods exports are the most robust part of the state’s economy, contributing tremendous amounts of revenue through taxes and diverse employment. Additionally, 89 percent of North Carolina manufacturers are small businesses, showing that smaller companies have the ability to succeed in the state. To further support manufacturing in North Carolina, we can look at the growth in exports since 2003. Exports grew 50 percent in North Carolina, significantly driving the state’s economy and leading to a higher quality of life for residents.

Manufacturing continues to boom in North Carolina, with President Obama visiting in early 2014 to present a new high-tech manufacturing hub. The Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute in North Carolina is an organization that was created to bring companies, educational organizations, and federal research together to create new electronic products.

As manufacturing continues to expand in the U.S., North Carolina offers manufacturers an attractive location to produce their goods. Support from the federal government, educational organizations, and local businesses mean that manufacturing will be able to continue to flourish for years to come. The benefits of manufacturing in North Carolina will continue to positively impact the local and national population.