Creating an optimal bond between a metal plate and the silicone: that was the challenge Enbi Plastics was given by Océ Technologies, a major player in printing and copying equipment. They needed a new wiper assy; a part on the print head that prevents streaks on the paper. Because this part needs to be somewhat flexible, silicone needed to be added to a small, punched metal plate, to which screw thread is welded.
This construction did not allow for a mechanical bond between the metal and silicone, which meant chemical bonding was the only option. Together with the client, the mould supplier, the silicone supplier and others, we did extensive research into the best way to achieve this bond. It showed that preparing the small metal plates was the key. After several tests, we discovered the optimal way to do this. A number of factors play a role: from how to clean and sand the plate to humidity, temperature and the time in between the steps of the process. Every detail counts! We carefully documented the entire process, so each operator can know exactly how the steps are to be carried out.
After prepping the metal plates, they are manually inserted into a 200-degree mould. At that point, they may not come in contact with fingers anymore. The use of gloves or pliers was not an option either. That is why we developed a special tool together with DMS. This vacuum grip can ergonomically and correctly place the plates in the mould. The final product is packed individually and delivered to the client.