Rubber Grommet Basics For New Industrial Facility Managers

One of the biggest problems encountered in industrial environments is vibration inside the machines. This vibration can cause excessive wear and tear, leading to increased down time for necessary repairs. It can even lead to unexpected equipment failures that become costly in both lost production time and the associated repair costs. One of the things you can do to minimize this type of damage is to keep up with replacing the rubber grommets inside the machine. Here is a look at the basics of rubber grommets to help you better prepare for this maintenance.

What Are Rubber Grommets?

Rubber grommets are pieces of rubber designed to serve as protective barriers. They're placed in areas where one piece of the machine intersects with another, and they cover the sharp edges of the hole to help prevent friction and impact. You can find them in many different sizes and shapes to suit your needs, and they can even be custom designed for those hard-to-fit places.

Do Rubber Grommets Wear?

Because of the nature of the physical impact that rubber grommets face every day and the thermal changes that often occur within industrial machines, it's important that you inspect and replace them regularly.

One of the most common problems encountered with rubber grommets is crushing. This is particularly common if you choose a grommet that isn't actually rated for the pressure that it sustains in the environment you put it in. The excess pressure can cause the rubber fibers to collapse, crushing the grommets.

Another problem that can arise with rubber grommets is drying and cracking. This is particularly true if the grommets are in an exceedingly high-heat environment. The heat can cause the grommets to dry out, and when the rubber dries, it will crack. Lubricating the equipment will help to prevent this, but excessive heat will still cause wear and tear over time.

How Do You Choose The Right Rubber Grommets?

In order to replace worn or damaged rubber grommets, you have to know what size you need. There are two ways to do this. If possible, you can take the existing ones to a supplier so that they can match them up. However, this isn't always feasible. If you don't have a local supplier, there's another way that you can determine what size grommets you need.

The first thing you need to do is to measure the diameter of the grommet from one outside edge to the other. This is the outer diameter. Then, measure the diameter of the grommet from one inside edge to the other. This is the inner diameter.

In addition to those measurements, you'll also need the grommet thickness, the panel thickness, and the panel hole diameter. The grommet thickness is measured from the top of the grommet to the bottom. The panel thickness is the space between the slots on either side of the grommet, if there are any. And the panel hole diameter refers to the measurement from one edge of the slot to the other across the grommet.

What Kinds Of Things Can Grommets Protect?

Rubber grommets can be used to protect many things, from metal components and pins to wiring and cables. No matter what you're trying to protect, make sure that the inner diameter of the grommet is wide enough that it will fit everything comfortably inside it. If it is squeezed too tight, you risk friction damage and heat accumulation that can cause equipment failures.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to rubber grommets for your industrial machines. The better prepared you are, the safer your wiring and other sensitive components will be.To learn more, contact a rubber parts supplier.