A safety device OEM and Standard Rubber Products (SRP) are committed to producing high-quality portable gas detectors. Workers who use these devices risk their lives daily and need durable and effective protection. During pre-production testing, it was discovered that the gasket material used to seal out dust and moisture was failing. The closed-cell neoprene blend or PVC sponge gaskets used for different designs were soft enough and the proper density, but they were not able to retain thickness in compression set and re-compression cycling tests. In addition, some of the gas detector models were unable to meet impact resistance requirements. As a result, the gas detectors would malfunction due to seal failure or impact damage. There was a clear risk of worker injury, recalls, and litigation using the current design.
For this situation, Rogers' PORON® 92 formulation provided the best combination of softness, sealing performance, and impact absorption properties for these gas detector designs. The new gasket material helped the gas detectors withstand the impact from up to a 3.7 meter (12') drop. PORON® 37, 41, and 79 formulations offer different combinations of sealing performance, impact reduction, and compression force deflection (see description) properties that can be used in similar applications.
The PORON® 92 foam was able to seal out dust and moisture, reduce transmitted force from impact, maintain its original thickness (known as compression set resistance, see description) and provide the re-compression cycling performance needed to seal out the elements and retain a tight seal over the long term. SRP's design skill and customized processing capabilities made it possible for the OEM to use Rogers' PORON® 92 foam to replace the failing PVC sponge or neoprene blend gasket in the body-worn gas detectors. Their multidisciplinary project team is well-trained on the latest material technologies, allowing them to help their customers make a better, faster, stronger, and less expensive product.
This “how can we help improve the product” philosophy demonstrates a process of continuous improvement, as opposed to a “just quote the job” mentality. SRP strives to make parts using minimal waste production methods, and to deliver product in a form that makes the most sense for a customer’s production process. Also, customer education is a high priority, through direct contact with expert sales engineers and regular “lunch and learn” events.
Rogers' PORON® 92 polyurethane foam eliminated concerns the company's reputation or end user safety would suffer as a result of product failure. The OEM is proud to be able to offer a body worn gas detector that is reliable and consistent in providing the life-saving technology protecting those who work in difficult environments. The gas detectors are able to protect users from injury or even death related to the inhalation of poisonous gas. If the original PVC or neoprene gaskets had failed and workers were injured, the company would have been at risk for litigation. In related industries, the average cost of litigation settlements is $217,000. The average cost of product recall is $517,000, making Rogers' high quality PORON® 92 polyurethane foam gaskets well worth the investment.