Category Archive: Uncategorized

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.

Case Studies Prove the Importance of Precision Converting

Introducing Real Examples of Customers’ Precision Cutting Solutions

The right material and the exact cut make all the difference. For tight-tolerance components like gaskets, pumps and seals, there is no room for error — and no detail is too minor.

For example, one of our customers, a large boat manufacturer, had overlooked the importance of the gasket adhesive used to seal to their fuel tank. Their selected adhesive did not seal well to the tank substrate, and the gasket began peeling off. When the customer approached us with the issue, we tested and evaluated the performance of a combination of adhesives and sponge that would resist moisture. We selected and converted a high-tack transfer adhesive that was robust and durable, with the addition of an HDPE film liner for added protection.

We’re no stranger to material issues like these — we’ve worked with a number of projects that had design and performance issues:die-cut-foam

Turning a Badly Designed Gasket Into a Usable Solution

This project’s end user designed a gasket to be fitted with our customer’s molded plastic parts. The customer had particular needs and expectations in order to make the gasket work for the end product, but the design — over which they had no control — proved flawed in many ways.

Industry: Manufacturing; OEM Parts

Problem: Gasket design delivered with a series of production issues, including edge tolerances and material performance, that resulted in tearing, slow processing and high rejection rates

Solution: An altered manufacturing and delivery process, customized for the design’s needs

Sealing Diesel Exhaust Fluid with Precision-Cut Ensolite Foam

Extreme temperatures are a challenge in many industries — but they’re no match for custom CGR solutions. After a polar vortex took its toll on new fueling dispensers at stations throughout the northern United States and Canada, the manufacturer came to us to help stop the freezing.

Industry: Automotive; Gas and Oil

Problem: Failed insulation on fuel dispensers caused diesel exhaust fluid to freeze inside its pump, making it impossible to dispense

Solution: Custom-tested, fully packaged retrofit insulation kits with Ensolite IV1 foam rubber

With over 100 pieces of specialized equipment and years of experience on projects like these, the CGR Team is dedicated to getting your job done. Visit the Case Studies page to find more on the projects above, as well as additional case studies.

Even the most challenging projects deserve straightforward, accessible solutions. CGR has delivered custom gaskets and seals with top-of-the-line solutions for over 50 years — but you don’t always have to take our word for it.

For more information on custom work, or to discuss your own design challenges, reach out to our team today.

Now Hiring: American Automakers

For the first time in 5 years, American automakers are on track to sell 15 million vehicles in 12 months. After the recession hit the industry hard in 2009, new vehicle sales have been slow to recover. But now it seems poised for a boom after a series of strong numbers and data, with some experts saying that the auto industry is now the backbone of our economic recovery. New car and truck sales are already up more than 7% so far this year. Automotive factories all across the country are working at more than 95% capacity as consumer confidence builds and Americans are buying more new vehicles. Ford and Chrysler have already announced shortened summer shutdowns at many North American plants to make up for the extra work. Automakers and part suppliers are looking to hire plenty of new engineers, technicians, and factory workers to help handle the increasing demand.

As volume continues to increase, makers and suppliers will need a new generation of employees to keep up. The Center for Automotive Research estimates 35,000 new workers will be hired before year’s end. According to some experts, 1 in every 4 manufacturing jobs that has been added since 2009 was auto-industry related. Ford also plans to recall 2,000 of its previously laid-off workers in addition to hiring around 3,500 new employees. This positive news shines a light on American manufacturers and gives hope to the unemployed to be a part of the brand new crop of skilled workers.

CGR Products: Welcome to Our New Blog

At CGR Products, we see our website as an extension of our personal outreach to customers. In this blog, we hope to open a digital conversation with you in which we can explain a little more about the advantages of our products, and industry topics in general. We look forward to building a relationship with you!

In 1963, Carolina Gasket & Rubber Company opened their doors in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Focusing on gaskets for the textile industry, the company grew and grew, and in 1990 acquired Valley Products in Decatur, Alabama.  Last year we acquired EG Gaskets in Wisconsin.  We are now known as CGR Products, profitably operating in all three locations.

How does a business stay successful in today’s competitive climate? Having top quality products, good service, and a competitive price may not be enough.  CGR has a plan and it can be summed up in one word: responsiveness.

CGR is making a conscious effort to improve our professional responsiveness at every level.  How fast can a quote be returned to a customer?  How can lead times on projects be shorter without compromising quality?  Are phone calls and inquiries being responded to in a timely manner?  The right answers to these questions are the top priority of CGR Products, both for the satisfaction of our customers and the continued success of the company as a whole.

You don’t have to take our word for it.  CGR has gone straight to our clients, who nearly unanimously responded that responsiveness is greatly important to their needs.  We’re listening.  When it comes to the response to our customers, we’re measuring lead times, response times and everything in between.  The future success of CGR rests in the hands of our clients, and we are working to make our top quality products and services faster and better all the time.