Category Archive: Uncategorized

Heat Sealed 3M™ Thinsulate™

CGR Products has been supplying various types of 3M™ Thinsulate™ materials to the automotive market for more than 10 years.  The 3M™ Thinsulate™ NVH material (noise, vibration, and harshness) is used in a variety of applications across many different industries and provides a wide variety of sound absorption and dampening properties.

The Advantages of 3M™ Thinsulate™

3M™ Thinsulate™ NVH Material provides a reliable acoustic solution for various automotive applications.  3M™ Thinsulate™ is engineered to provide high-performance sound absorption.  Specific products are engineered to assist in the creation of lower profile products and reduce mass in the automobile while also reducing noise around the vehicle.  3M™ Thinsulate™ is water repellent to absorb minimal moisture; thus, no need for an additional waterproof layer. It is also resistant to mildew growth, eliminating the risk of unintended odors.

Heat Sealing Thinsulate™

CGR Products supplies custom cut 3M™ Thinsulate™ to the automotive industry utilizing a heat seal around the perimeter of the part.  Some of the benefits of a heat seal include:

  • Preventing contaminants into the part.  If your part is located in an area prone to dust, dirt or any other foreign contaminants, a heat seal is an ideal way to keep much of the substance out of the part.
  • CGR can supply custom cut Thinsulate™ in a variety of ways, such as individual parts stacked in a box, or perforated on a roll.  If a heat seal is used, the parts will retain their shape and remain stable dimensionally.
  • Visually Appealing. If you have a die cut part that is visible, you may be interested in a heat sealed edge. This type of edge will provide a more finished look as opposed to an open, fibrous part.

Keep in mind that for most die cut Thinsulate™ parts, the heat seal is not needed.  However, if there are OEM requirements or if you are looking at exterior parts, a sealed part may be what you are looking for.

Learn More

Consider CGR Products when you are developing sound and vibration dampening.  With over 140,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the automotive industry. To learn more about our capabilities within this field, download our automotive application guide, or visit our Sample Gallery to view a portfolio encompassing all the industries we serve.

Making a Decision

making a decisionOver my career, I have had the opportunity to experience many decisions being made, a nice way to say I’m getting old. I have seen good ones and bad ones and I have made good ones and bad ones. Ultimately, over 90% of the value any person is to any organization is directly related to their decision-making ability. Any decision is, at its core, a risk assessment.  You must assess two or more potential directions and then choose the best one.  There are always pros and cons to those directions.  Making a decision may seem easy enough, but there are many skills and factors that are part of that process.

 

Emotional Strength

There are several personal skills necessary for good decision making.  By far the most important quality and the one that is the hardest to find in people is having the emotional strength to do it. The biggest issue I have seen that holds most people back in their respective career is having the emotional strength to shoulder the responsibility for a decision as the risk increases.  In other words, as the emotional or financial risks increase many people shy away from making a decision. It is one thing to decide whether to go left or right at a stop sign, it is completely different to decide if a person is in the right job or if you should spend a million dollars with no guarantee of success and 100 people’s income is affected by that decision. So many people either don’t want that burden or the stress of that burden is too much for them to handle.

Understanding Data

Having the ability to understand all the information involved in a decision is another skill that is necessary to make good decisions.  Information comes in many forms. For example, there is empirical data, concepts, emotions, and situational considerations to name a few.  Typically, people have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the type of information that they are assessing.  I do not understand quantum physics and for me to understand it, I would have to spend so much time learning it that it would not be worthwhile. To put yourself in the best situation to make good decisions you should honestly assess yourself and seek input when you are dealing with information that is difficult for you.  One of the best businessmen I know has a tough time understanding the emotional impacts his decisions have on his team. He knows that about himself and does a tremendous job seeking input from other people that understand those impacts better than he does. From a big picture perspective directing your career so you are dealing with information that you know well helps you be a more effective decision maker.  However, no matter what career field you chose, you should always continue to learn and improve on your strengths and weaknesses, so you can make more effective decisions.

Filtering Data

Once you understand the information, you need to be able to filter the information.  If you struggle to filter what is important to the decision at hand, that information is useless. In almost every scenario, regardless of how risky the decision, there are 2 or 3 main factors that will determine the outcome of that decision. Too many times people are overwhelmed with the amount of data they must synthesize.  You must be able to identify the most important factors and eliminate everything else.  The inability to weed out all the noise will paralyze a person’s ability to decide.

Timeframes

Another criterion for effective decision making is being able to decide in a productive time frame. If it takes you 5 years to make a decision, you will not make many of them over your lifetime. There is an efficient period to make any decision. The riskier the decision, the longer it usually takes, but there is a limit. You have heard the term “paralysis of analysis”.  Time is money and taking too much time to make decisions costs money. On the other side of the coin, you can make decisions too fast. In that case, you do not give yourself enough time to consider all the options. Sometimes people are so focused on getting another item off their “To do” list that the driving force to make the decision is that instead of the driving force being to make a good decision.

Culture & Personalities

There are also decision-making considerations that have nothing to do with you. They are external. Things like the culture of the organization that you are working in, the constituents that are judging your decisions, and the process. making a decision

Every organization has a culture that is unique.  No matter what decision-making skills you have, you must consider the culture of that organization for your decisions to succeed.  Some organizations will not accept a decision if it is made too quickly.  Others look at the speed of a decision as being the most critical factor for success.  If you work at a fire station, quick decisions are very important, while quick decisions in a pharmaceutical company are not.  Be aware of the decision-making culture in your environment to give your decisions the best chance for success and in turn giving your career the best chance to progress.

Just like organizations have different cultures, people have different behavior types.  Very few decisions are made that do not impact other people, the people you report to, your peers, the people that report to you, family members, friends, basically your constituents.   The success of your decisions will be directly influenced by the people impacted. You must consider your constituents as a direction is chosen. How will they react? What actions will they take? How will this affect them emotionally?  Your constituents will judge your decisions and your long-term success will depend on those judgments.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “there is a right way and a wrong way to do something?”  That is true in the decision-making process as well. Your decision-making process can make or break your decisions. As I explained above, organizations have a culture and people have different behavior types.  If those entities inherently respect the process you use to make a decision, your decisions will be more successful and your value to the organization will increase.

Decision Evaluation

Finally, don’t spend time regretting or gloating over a past decision.  That is not productive, but assessing a decision with the intent to learn is.  Set a realistic assessment time in the future and do a postmortem review to evaluate how the decision was made, was the outcome good or bad, should you continue in the chosen direction, and what would you have done differently if you had to do it again. The intent is not to beat yourself up or pat yourself on the back. At the time a direction is chosen, do everything you can to make the chosen direction work.  Every bad decision I have made has helped me make better decisions in the future. Bad decisions are opportunities to learn and if that is your mindset, you will get better at decision making, and in turn, help advance your career.  At the end of the day (my kids love it when I use that phrase) you must understand the information, filter out what is critical to the decision, assess the risk, and understand your constituency.  There are tools you can use to improve your decision-making abilities, but for now, work on one thing; developing the internal fortitude necessary to shoulder the responsibility of making a decision and then “JUST MAKE THE DECISION”  Good luck.

Learn More

For more than 50 years, CGR Products has been a leading supplier of reliable, high-quality products.  To read more from CGR Products, visit our Blogs page or feel free to click around on our website.

 

 

UL Materials | Closed Cell Sponge Rubber

Many users of sponge rubber products for sealing are unaware that UL guidelines dictate that when adhesive is applied to sponge rubber the chemistry has been changed. Essentially, this creates a new product which must pass specific tests to be added to a list of approved UL materials.

UL Listed Closed Cell Sponge with AdhesiveTo help solve this issue, CGR Products has three UL listed closed cell sponge and adhesive combinations that are listed to UL JMLU2 standards and are suitable for UL50E applications.

In this guide, we will break down our three combinations to help you identify the best solution for your application.

8002/702P

UL Listed Closed Cell Sponge Stripping with Adhesive

8002/702P is considered our “high-end” combination utilizing greater temperature ratings and high-performance adhesive. 8002 sponge is pure EPDM sponge. It has 2A2 ASTM designation with a density of 9 +/-2. The 702P adhesive is a heavy mass 7mil (liner side) double coated acrylic tape.

5031/9824

5031/9824 is considered our “mid-grade”.  5031 sponge is a blend of EPDM/CR/SBR.  It has 2A1 ASTM designation with a density of 6 +/-2.  The 9824 adhesive is 3mil (liner side) high strength double coated acrylic tape.

DK1111/9816

DK1111/9816 is considered our “general purpose” combination and also utilizes a rubber based adhesive.  DK1111 sponge is a blend of EPDM and Neoprene.  It has 2C1 ASTM designation with a density of 5.   The 9816 adhesive is 3.5mil (liner side) double coated high tack rubber-based tape.

UL Materials from CGR Products

These UL listed closed cell sponge with adhesive combinations are commonly used for sealing and gaskets in electrical enclosures, control panels, appliances, and many other applications.  CGR Products offers lamination, slit to width, sheeting, and die cutting for all of your converting needs.  Our UL listed Products are labeled and shipped with the Recognized Component Mark,  UL Listed Closed Cell Sponge with Adhesive Recognized Component

 

For a further in-depth look at our UL listed Products, download our latest eBook by clicking here.

Learn About CGR Products Laminating Services

At CGR Products, we laminate many different materials on a daily basis.  We can laminate materials up to 84″ wide and as thin as .062″.  Materials can range from closed cell foam to heavy fabrics.  In this series, we will look at some common ways CGR Products offers laminating services.

Heat Platen Laminating

This type lamination involves a process where the adhesive roll rides over a heated platen.  Heat is used to soften the adhesive which is typically called “Flow”.   The heat of the platen is computer controlled and is critical to the speed of the process.   The material being laminated is pulled through the machine via driven rollers and the adhesive is applied to the bottom side of the substrate.  The bond of adhesive to the substrate is performed at the nip roller.  Once bonded the materials can be rewound and supplied on a core.

Watch our video below of closed cell foam being laminated with 3M9495 double coated adhesive.

Infrared Laminating

Infrared laminating is similar to heat platen laminating other than the heat source.  This process uses Infrared heat to help the adhesive flow before it is applied to the material.  One benefit of infrared is the heat can be micro adjusted while in process which allows the operator to quickly find the optimum temperature to create the best bond.  The infrared process is instant so the heat can be started and stopped within seconds saving valuable time and material.

Camouflage fabric laminated to closed cell sponge rubber

Camouflage fabric laminated to closed cell sponge rubber

Hot Roll Laminating

Hot Roll lamination involves applying adhesive over a heated drum.  The heated drum helps the adhesive flow just before being applied to the substrate. CGR Products hot roll laminator will handle materials up to 84″ wide.  Our hot roll laminator is well suited for materials such as carpet and textiles.  A common use for this machine is the process of glue web lamination.  This process allows customers to reactivate the adhesive with heat when parts are ready to be installed.

Rotary Laminating

For high volume die cutting applications, we utilize Rotary lamination.  We commonly laminate materials up to 16″ wide such as 3M VHB, Copper foils, and Mylar.   Depending on the complexity of the part,  we can usually laminate and cut the part in one pass.  This helps to reduce cost and increase responsiveness to your customer.

Learn More

To learn more about our lamination capabilities, visit our laminating services page.   Feel free to click around our website or visit our Sample Gallery to view a portfolio encompassing many of the industries we serve.

Material of the Month: Rogers Corporation PORON

Here at CGR, we stock a wide variety of specialty materials, from unique adhesive solutions and flexible rubbers to custom-engineered fibers. During our Material of the Month blog series, we’ve been showcasing some of our favorite, most popular materials, outlining their unique features and exploring common applications.

This month, we’re highlighting our extremely versatile Rogers Corporation PORON®

PORON products have these great benefits:

  • A higher compression set resistance for durable, long-term performance.  Good for gasketing, sealing, and cushioning.
  • Micro-cellular construction that contains no plasticizes or residual chemicals.  The material will not become brittle and is non-corrosive to metal.
  • Meet several flammability requirements of UL HBF and MVSS 302.
  • Available in many densities and thicknesses.
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Die-cuts neatly and accepts a broad range of adhesives.
  • Ideal for shock and vibration absorption in sensitive electronics.

Visit the Rogers Corporation website for more information on all the PORON® materials available.

PORON and CGR Products:

CGR Products is a Rogers Corporation preferred converter.  At CGR Products we stock many grades of PORON® and several thicknesses.  CGR commonly adds adhesive then fabricates finished parts by means of die cutting, waterjet cutting, knife cutting, rotary cutting, and slitting.

Adding adhesive to PORON® makes for great kiss cut applications.  Other methods to note; if larger window frame gaskets can be dovetailed or foldout, this will allow a much greater utilization of material and substantially reduce cost.

Using PORON for Your Application

As flexible material specialists, the CGR team offers years of experience in converting PORON® into gaskets and components. Our in-house precision cutting services include rotary and flatbed die cutting, kiss cutting, slitting, splitting, knife cutting, and more.

PORON® 4 piece dovetailed gasket. This eliminates the center waste if this was cut as a 1 piece gasket.

Three dimensional tray made from multiple plies of PORON® to be used as a shock mount for heavy equipment touchscreen displays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about PORON®’s unique applications and fabrication possibilities, visit our PORON material page.

 

 

Three Capabilities You Might Not Have Known About CGR Products

Here at CGR Products, we use a variety of cutting and fabricating capabilities on a daily basis.  However, we do some fabricating that might seem “out of the norm” from our core manufacturing.  In this article we will highlight three things you might not have known about CGR Products capabilities.

Metal Fabrication Capabilities

All three CGR Products facilities have the ability to fabricate high volume metal parts.  Each location has die cutting presses capable of cutting thinner gauge metals, typically in roll or sheet form.  In addition, our Waukesha, WI plant has 2 abrasive waterjet machines capable of cutting many types of thicker metals.  We produce specialty gaskets including head gaskets with fire rings, and metal encapsulated gaskets.  Watch our video below of a high volume metal composite being die cut.

Displays and Lettering

CGR Products has the unique capability of fabricating foam lettering and displays in high volumes.  These items can be plain, adhesive backed, or magnetic backed.  We can cut foam up to 9.00″ thick in a variety of colors and densities.  We work directly with the retail store design firms to meet their specific display goals.  Examples of our work can be found in Grocery Stores and retail shops in the Southeast.   Visit our Open and Closed Cell Foam Materials page for examples of the types of foams we work with.

waterjet cut xlpe display capabilities

Foam Perforation

CGR Products has the specialized capability of wide format foam perforation.  Foam perforation is typically found as underlayment in sporting fields to allow for water drainage.  Our perforation process can cut material up to 60″ wide and run roll to roll.  Our unique process allows the slugs to be removed while cutting, saving time for the end user.   Once perforated, the rolls are plastic wrapped and labeled.  Rolls are typically shipped in truckload quantities ready for the end user to install.

foam perforation

Learn More

With over 140,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients. To learn more about our capabilities, click around our website or visit our Sample Gallery to view a portfolio encompassing many of the industries we serve.

 

 

Material of the Month: Closed Cell Sponge Rubber

Here at CGR, we stock a wide variety of specialty materials, from unique adhesive solutions and flexible rubbers to custom-engineered fibers. During our Material of the Month blog series, we’ve been showcasing some of our favorite, most popular materials, outlining their unique features and exploring common applications.

This month, we’re highlighting our extremely versatile closed cell sponge rubber.

What is Sponge Rubber?

Sponge rubber is unique in that it can be crafted in both open and closed cell styles.

  • Open cell rubber permits flow; air, water, and chemicals can all pass through the open network of pockets when the rubber is not compressed.
  • Closed cell rubber, or expanded rubber, contains balloon-like cells filled with nitrogen gas, which block the flow of air, water, and chemicals at low pressures.

Benefits and Uses

Because of its consistent, solid structure, closed cell sponge rubber offers excellent sealing performance, providing acid, flame, and oil resistance.

This rubber also features the following unique attributes:

  • Lightweight durability
  • High-performance cushioning
  • Reliable thermal and acoustic insulation
  • Shock absorption
  • Impact dampening
  • Tough sealing and weatherproofing capability

Armacell Monarch 3091 Sponge Rubber

A pure EPDM material, Armacell’s Monarch 3091 is an excellent example of a popular, low-density, high-performance closed cell sponge rubber. Manufactured with non-staining oils and antioxidants, Monarch 3091 offers fire, ozone, and elevated temperature resistance. It’s approved to meet the demanding requirements of automotive, industrial, and even military applications.

Sponge Rubber Applications and Industries

Sponge rubber’s versatility and reliable density allow for use in a wide range of applications, including:

  • Acoustic design and custom soundproofing
  • Lighting and electrical systems
  • Marine and weatherproofing projects
  • Power tools and generators
  • HVAC systems
  • Automotive components

Closed-Cell Sponge Rubber at CGR

At CGR, we are capable of skiving or splitting raw material up to 56 inches wide and 10” thick; materials can be split down to 0.062” thick. On most materials, we can cut with standard RMA tolerances or better.

We bring years of experience and expertise in lamination, sheeting, die cutting, and slit-to-width services, and we’re proud to offer a vast inventory of closed cell sponge rubber to meet the unique needs of all our clients. To learn more about open cell sponge rubber or discuss how we can help with your next project, reach out to the team today.

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Open Cell vs. Closed Cell Foam: What’s the Difference?

At CGR Products, we field a lot of questions about the differences between open and closed cell foam. To address these inquiries, we’ll be comparing the two types of foam and outlining the unique benefits and properties of each.

When deciding on a material for your specific project, it’s important to understand which kind of foam will best serve your application and meet your unique requirements. The benefits of each type of foam can differ depending on your specific industry, so it’s important to fully assess each option before moving forward.

Open Cell Foam

Open cell foam is a rubber-like product made by incorporating an inflating agent, such as sodium bicarbonate, into the rubber compound; this agent gives off a gas, which expands the rubber during vulcanization.

Foam is usually classified as “open cell” when more than half of its cells are open. Common open cell materials include reticulated foam, polyurethane foam, and open cell rubber.

Some open cell foam is unique in that it operates more like a spring, easily returning to its original state after compression thanks to the unrestricted air movement and chemical makeup. Soft and breathable, open cell foam is generally more flexible and can more easily conform to sealing applications than closed cell foam. Open cell foam can also be manufactured at both high and low densities. It is less durable than closed cell options, however.

Reticulated foam is usually classified by PPI (pores per inch). 10 PPI foam would have large cell structures and allow the most flow, while 80 PPI foam would have very small cells and be more restrictive.

Closed Cell Foam

Closed cell foam is defined as a cell totally enclosed by its walls and hence not interconnecting with other cells. Closed cell foam is usually made by subjecting a rubber compound to a gas, such as nitrogen, under high pressure. This type of foam may also be made by incorporating gas-forming materials into the compound.

Closed cell foam offers a wide variety of material and density options. EPDM, neoprene, EPDM/CR/SBR, and PVC/NBR are a few common types of closed cell foams, which can range in densities from 6 lb/ft3 (soft) to 19 lb/ft3 (hard).

This type of material is ideal for sealing as it effectively reduces liquid and gas flow. Closed cell foam is also ideal for industries in which liquid resistance is critical, such as marine, HVAC, and automotive.

Learn More

CGR carries several types of open and closed cell materials, including neoprene, PVC/NBR, silicone, microcellular urethane foam (PORON®), and polyurethane foam, and we keep a wide variety in stock to reduce lead times. We can also convert foam materials as needed for your application and will work with your team to find a solution that works for your project, no matter how complex.

To learn more about foam materials and identify which type is right for your next project, download our comprehensive Chemical Compatibility Guide.

CGR Products resource library

How Amorim Makes Cork Rubber

At Amorim Cork Composites — the world’s largest producer of cork and related materials — we’re committed to sustainability in everything we do: We recycle, reuse, and reinvent entirely natural and organic materials. Understanding the versatility and value of cork in numerous applications, we’re proud to supply companies worldwide with top-quality, reliable cork products.

corktreeThe Versatility of Cork

Cork grows from the bark of the cork oak tree, which thrives in the hot, dry climates of Portugal, Spain, and North Africa. Cork oak trees are not harvested until they’ve reached 25 years of age. After the first harvest, the bark is removed about every nine years. These trees can live for over 200 years.

After the bark is harvested in sheets about 3 feet wide, 6 feet long, and 3 inches thick, it is cleaned to remove any impurities. Soon after, the cork is cut into strips and, most often, cored to create wine stoppers; this is the primary use of cork. In fact, over 15 billion stoppers are sold each year to the wine industry. The cork not used in the stopper industry is processed and used in various other applications, including construction, sealing, composites, home and office, and flooring.

In its natural state, cork is composed of many cells filled with air pockets, making it ideal for sealing applications. Cork compresses within itself with no side flow, creating a reliable seal impervious to most fluids. Classified as a post-industrial recycled material, cork has been used since the late 1800s for industrial sealing applications.

Cork Solutions at Amorim

corkbarkAt Amorim, we’re especially proud of our P46 cork material. Our most popular product, P46 features high density and low compressibility. It’s typically used in friction applications in which heat is generated by pressure, as well as clutch applications.

P46 is readily available in custom-cut sizes up to half an inch thick, with one or both sides sanded. To discuss how Amorim’s materials can help with your next project, contact us today.

How CGR Can Help

CGR Products has a long history of custom cutting and fabricating for a wide range of materials including cork and rubber. Our services include custom die cutting, waterjet cutting, kiss and knife cutting, and more. Visit our Resource Library for access to our many free guides, eBooks, and whitepapers, or check out our Case Studies to learn more about our full scale of materials and capabilities.

Using 3M Thinsulate to Manufacture Lighter, Quieter Cars

With mounting public concern over sustainability and increasingly strict fuel economy regulations, automakers worldwide are now focusing their efforts on lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. In fact, by 2025, automaker fleets in the United States and Europe will need to average more than 60 miles per gallon.Capture

To meet these new guidelines, automakers must implement  incremental improvements to reduce vehicle weight and improve efficiency. In this changing landscape, it’s imperative for automotive manufacturers to make use of lightweight, reliable materials.

At CGR Products, we’re proud to be  an approved converter for 3M’s innovative Thinsulate material — an ideal option for acoustic automotive applications.

The Advantages of 3M Thinsulate in Automotive Applications

3M Thinsulate Acoustic Absorption Material provides a reliable acoustic solution for various automotive applications. Incorporating only a few square centimeters of the material into components during fabrication greatly improves sound insulation and allows for greater efficiency. The benefits of 3M Thinsulate for automotive applications include:

  • Quieter cars — Providing excellent acoustic absorption, especially for middle- to high-frequency ranges, 3M Thinsulate allows for overall quieter vehicle operation.
  • Lighter cars — Made of lightweight polyester and polypropylene non-woven fibers, 3M Thinsulate can be used to fabricate lightweight automotive components without sacrificing quality.
  • Easy bonding — This versatile material can be easily attached using ultrasonic welding, double-sided tape, or mechanical clips.
  • Resistance to moisture and mildew — Absorbing minimal moisture, 3M Thinsulate is water repellent and mold resistant, eliminating the risk of odor and obviating the need for additional waterproof layers.

Automotive Applications

Automotive manufacturers can use 3M Thinsulate in the fabrication of a wide range of car parts, including:

  • thinsulateDoors
  • Interior panels
  • Seat backs
  • Luggage compartments
  • Headliners
  • HVAC equipment
  • Engine undercovers
  • Leaf cowls

3M provides a variety of Thinsulate insulation materials to meet the unique needs of these specific applications. The 3M Thinsulate HT Series, for instance, is designed to withstand high-temperature environments, such as engine compartments, while the SM Series easily compresses for use in tight quarters, such as the vehicle cabin and luggage compartment.

Learn More

With over 140,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the automotive industry. To learn more about our capabilities within this field, download our automotive application guide, or visit our Sample Gallery to view a portfolio encompassing all the industries we serve.