Autoclave for Rubber Hose Treatment: How to Work Efficiently

What is a vulcanizing autoclave system?

vulcanizing autoclave system is used to convert natural rubber by manufacturers in the rubber industry to result in a cured and cross-linked rubber vulcanized end product. Vulcanizing autoclaves are also used to cure plastic. Relying on internal steam, using a combination of hot air and live steam, or employing hot-air only, vulcanizing autoclaves depend on a variety of processes.

Blistering is never a good thing.

Especially when it’s happening on your cured rubber hose.

But that’s exactly the result one of our clients faced with some of their rubber hose production.

As with most in the industry, the normal solution is to cut the blistered portion of the hose off and discard it. But the client wondered if there was another answer to minimize the amount of discarded hose due to blistering?

Let’s take a look at where some vulcanizing autoclave processes fall short AND the amazing results when you have the help of a team that thinks outside-the-box.

The process of treating rubber hoses is pretty straightforward.

  1. The rubber inner tube of the hose is formed.
  2. Some type of reinforcing material is applied to the exterior of the inner tube.
  3. The reinforcing material is covered with a rubber hose cover. (At this point, the hose is complete in its raw form.)
  4. The raw hose is placed inside an autoclave, where the final forming (or vulcanization) process happens and the final shape is set.

As we understood it, it was during the final forming process blistering was likely to occur due to gases escaping during the vulcanization process.

A little bit of thinking-outside-the-box solves this issue.

Great results

Our  out-of-the-box solution-oriented thinking happened when we began the discussion of using a vacuum during the curing process in the vulcanizing autoclave.

After discussions with the facilities in house engineers and meetings with corporate stakeholders, we designed and installed a vacuum system on one of the facility’s three large production autoclave.

Through testing, we were able to reduce the blistering of the hose enough that corporate approved adding this to all three of the production autoclaves!

Think creatively about autoclaves for rubber hose treatment

Just like a change in methodology can get rid of blisters in rubber hoses, a little creativity can make all the difference in the efficiency of your processes AND your revenue.

If you need a customized solution for your vulcanizing autoclave treatment issues, get in touch with Tank Fab today.

Which of your processes could benefit from some creativity?

Author: Jeffrey Lippincott

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *