DEXTER, Mich. (Aug. 20, 2008) — Automotive parts manufacturer Jyco Sealing Technologies Inc. has developed a new co-extrusion process for door and window sealing systems it said will reduce weight, cut costs and improve aesthetics.
The technology—trademarked as JyCore—replaces the metal carrier within an automotive weather-sealing system with an extruded polypropylene one and bonds an extruded thermoplastic vulcanizate seal with the plastic carrier in the same production line, according to the manufacturer.
Rubber-to-metal bonding for weathersealing goes back more than 30 years, the manufacturer said, when suppliers devised a way to bond extruded rubber seals to metal carriers, giving the part structural sup- port.
Using huge coils of flat stock with repetitive notching patterns, metal lengths were roll-formed into U-shapes and other configurations.
The notches enabled the parts to be bent without buckling into the shape of the driver-side window, for example, and then attached eas-ily to a flange on the door, Jyco said.
The metal carriers, however, brought a few issues to the table, the Dexter-based firm said: weight, cost and a visible waviness occurring where the rubber was bonded over the notches—a condition known in the industry as “hungry horse.”
Using the JyCore carrier can reduce the weight of the part by as much as 46 percent and costs by 10-20 percent, said Shawn Jyawook, Jyco chief operating officer.
Lower raw material costs and easier processing—no exposed metal ends requiring finishing or rust-proofing—help reduce overall costs, he said.
The use of recyclable TPV as a sealing material—in which Jyco specializes—also enhances the system's “green” appeal, Jyco said. EPDM is not recyclable, and scrap that contains metal components requires an extra separation step before it can be used in reprocessing, Jyawook said.
Any scrap from Jyco's co-extruded TPV/PP process, on the other hand, is directly recyclable, according to the company.
Another benefit is the removal of the “hungry horse” condition, for many years considered an aesthetic compromise of using prenotched metal in sealing solutions.
“The key was integrating precise selective notching during the process,” Jyawook said. “The co-extrusion solution resolves the waviness issue that's saddled the industry for 30-plus years. No more hungry horse.”
Jyco is working with three auto makers on the use of the JyCore technology for their vehicles, Jyawook said.
The company will be manufacturing JyCore products at plants in Canada, Mexico and China, he said.