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Information-packed site features full standard line of polyurethane products plus custom capabilities and unique calculation tools
Kastalon, a longtime leader in polyurethane products, announces the rollout of its new website at www.kastalon.com. The new site offers a look at the company’s extensive lines of standard products, including rollers, pads, bumpers and sleeves for various uses in materials handling, metals producing and processing, as well as myriad other market applications.
Likewise, this new website details the custom material formulation and production capabilities of Kastalon, as the company has built a reputation for problem-solving solutions, since its inception in 1963.
Also included on the website are a number of engineering tools, which allow prospective customers an opportunity to detail their requirements for prompt quotation. Various materials performance calculation tools are provided on the site and these are among the most popular pages. Full company literature downloads are also offered.
Kastalon brings its decades of manufacturing experience and application engineering to each customer task, providing a high degree of material consistency and product performance to the global markets served by the company.
Inside Sales Manager Lyn Thorne comments, “We have worked for over two years to produce this site and believe it will be very useful to our current and prospective customers alike, as it provides a thorough presentation of our company’s successes and capabilities.”
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Kastalon offers mills and processors highly engineered polyurethane mandrel sleeves, filler plates and filler rings with material hardness and surface options to match customer needs, protecting coils from damage
Kastalon brings 50 years experience in coil processing to the task of engineering a new offering of application-specific, proprietary formulated polyurethane mandrel sleeves, filler rings and filler plates. These products are designed to adapt the mandrel to handle coils with larger ID’s and addresses the problems of damage from creasing, scratching and marring at mills, service centers, toll processors and fabricators alike. Such damage is expensive for any coil handling operation, especially when the metal is prepainted or must maintain optimum cosmetic surface integrity. By the use of Kastalon mandrel sleeves, filler rings or filler plates on the uncoiler or recoiler, the inside wraps on coils are protected from metal to metal contact. More finished material is produced or usable, as a result.
Mandrel sleeves are custom designed with engineered surface hardnesses and grooved or smooth finishes, depending on the particular application. Full sleeves are usually recommended for the recoilers, while filler rings and filler plates are more often utilized for uncoilers.
In use, the proprietary chemistry of the Kastalon Polyurethane material withstands the stress caused by the weight of the coil, then reforms when the mandrel is collapsed back to the rest position, owing to the inherent memory of the Kastalon engineered material. With other materials now on the market, sleeves will often sag due to memory loss and the resulting gap can cause significant coil damage. Correspondingly, additional labor and line downtime result from this condition, as realignment of the coil, sleeve and mandrel is needed. Through the true and precise sizing of the mandrel sleeve, combined with the proper material hardness and surface texturing, a Kastalon sleeve can last up to 10 times longer than rubber, fiber or even other commodity type polyurethane products, according to company research, available on request.
Kastalon mandrel sleeves are non-marring, cut-resistant, abrasion-resistant and offered for friction fit, requiring a separate “keeper”, or bolt-on installation. Company engineers consult customers on the amount of lubricant, cleaning solution or other coating chemistries present in the process, as this will determine the particular formulation selected. Furthermore, Kastalon offers these mandrel sleeves in a wide variety of grooved or soft surface finishes to meet the specific tension and pressure requirements of a processor’s uncoil/recoil apparatus. Special dual-durometer sleeves are also available for mills and processors where “head-in” damage is often encountered.
For most uncoilers, Kastalon filler rings or filler plates can provide the optimum performance for the tension, pressure and metal contact requirements typically present.
The design process for Kastalon mandrel sleeves can begin with a visit to the company’s website, www.kastalon.com, for completion of a needs assessment questionnaire. Detailed information is gathered on this form, allowing the Kastalon engineers to calculate the best sleeve design and chemical composition to suit the job.
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Short run forming of complex sheet metal shapes using rubber dies and pads is quick and highly effective. This technique was first accomplished using the Guerin Process. After the Second World War, the Wheelon process was developed as an improvement over the Guerin Process. A Wheelon press is capable of manufacturing large, complex, short run parts with economic tooling. This type of hydraulically actuated bladder forming is widely used in the aerospace industry today.
When the Wheelon process was first employed, the forming press fluid cells and forming pads were made of Neoprene rubber. The Neoprene formulations of the day were developed by rubber molders’ chemists. Their formulas were proprietary and highly secretive.
The high grade formulation of Neoprene used was an excellent material for the function of forming pads and fluid cells. It was tough, had very high extensibility, good cut resistance, excellent oil resistance and produced good detail with moderate pressures.
This was the standard material for Wheelon forming pads and fluid cells for many years. However, as the U.S. industrial rubber goods industry matured, its productive capacity diminished. The industry lost the capacity and knowledge required to make Neoprene pads and cells. There are presently no suppliers of rubber Wheelon or Guerin cells or pads in North America.
Fortunately, there was capacity to produce these parts from polyurethane. Polyurethane is a synthetic elastomer that is far stronger than Neoprene. Polyurethane has greater cut resistance, more abrasion resistance, greater tensile strength and has suitably high elongation for effective use in the Wheelon process.
Polyurethane is also a more environmentally stable material than the original Neoprene. Most often, when installing forming pads and upon starting forming operations, the Neoprene would be “dried out”. This would lead to shrinkage of the pad and increased stiffness. In order to install the pad and/or start the operation, it would be necessary to heat the Neoprene to restore it to its original softness and resilience. Polyurethane is far more consistent, retaining its size, shape and maintaining its softness and resilience. This eliminates the need for heat “rejuvenation”.
However, in spite of the superiority of the physical properties of polyurethane over the previously used Neoprene, there is a drawback to polyurethane. Due to its increased strength and toughness, far greater pressures must be employed to achieve acceptable part definition and this results in greater strain on the press, its components and some reduction in forming definition.
Some of the difficulties encountered with the use of commercial and even Kastalon KAS43210AE forming pads and cells are:
The challenge to industry has been to create a material that has polyurethane’s toughness and the extensibility of the lost Neoprene material.
Our initial discoveries led us to improve the traditional polyurethane formulations to increase extensibility, reduce working pressure and improve cut and tear strength in the “mid extension” ranges where these pads operate. However, this was only a compromise and a temporary solution to producing a forming pad with superior performance.
After years of continuing research, a hybrid polyurethane compound, trademarked Gümmilast by Kastalon, has been developed. The properties of Gümmilast are very similar to the original Neoprene in performance and exceed the toughness of traditional polyurethane. A comparison of the original Neoprene, Gümmilast, Kastalon KAS43210AE and commercial polyurethane is presented in the following table.
Physical Properties: Traditional Neoprene vs. Polyurethane
|Hardness,Shore ATensile, psi
The similarity between Gümmilast and the original Neoprene is apparent. In the operating range extension (250-400%), previously available polyurethanes create far higher internal stresses. The rapid increase of these stresses in this operational strain range leads to need for higher pressure and less definition. This makes tool design and the use of intensifier pads highly critical.
When using Gümmilast, the reduction in operating pressure will yield greater press life, while offering greater part definition.
Life testing of Gümmilast pads and cells is ongoing. To date, Kastalon anticipates 3-6 times the life of Improved Kastalon Polyurethane and an even greater life over commercial polyurethane.
In conclusion, Kastalon Gümmilast will provide the Wheelon Process user with a material that offers similar process ease, forming definition and reparability as experienced with the original rubber and providing significantly improved life over commercial polyurethane. Gümmilast is also available for hydroforming bladders, throw pads and Guerin Process pads.
Kastalon Gümmilast products are available from your press parts provider or from Kastalon, Inc.
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