MacLellan Rubber have recently completed the first part of a contract for Sorbothane Vibration Isolation Seals and Clamp Lining for an installation on a Petrochemical plant, in partnership with a major offshore engineering contractor.
A unique material for a unique application
Following extensive negotiations where the company had to demonstrate their ability to produce parts at 10mm and 50mm thick, cast profiles and deliver within a tight timescale, MacLellan Rubber was selected to supply large 40 Shore A Sorbothane
as moulded seals up to 968mm outside diameter, and undertake lining of metal clamps with Sorbothane
Ian Littleton, MacLellan's sales manager, explains: "Sorbothane is a super-soft polyurethane that exhibits the properties of both solids and liquids so is ideal for vibration dampening and shock absorbing. Whilst the compound does flow, controlling the process to maintain these thicknesses, sizes and shapes is very difficult."
He continued: "The material is widely used as vibration dampeners in thicknesses from 3mm to 6mm, and we have many customers who buy the material within this range. Projects at 10mm thick are unusual, but 50mm is unique in our experience."
Due to the low shore hardness, elasticity and tactile nature of the material, producing sheets and then fabricating the seals would have been very challenging because the material tends to almost refuse if left in contact. MacLellan's therefore made the early decision that moulding was the only viable solution on a production and quality basis.
The Vibration Isolation Seals were packed and ready to ship on time and in full, and MacLellan Rubber hope that this will be one of many such projects for the Petrochemical industry.
The second phase of work, being undertaken in parallel, involves lining large clamp connections with a layer of 30 Shore A Sorbothane
. This part of the project involves extensive tooling and, given the volume of compound required to complete the work, well managed production planning.