Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch 01452 386608
Rubber and flexible parts - how do I get the hardness I want?
Hardness is officially defined as “the resistance of a material to plastic deformation, usually by indentation. However, the term may also refer to stiffness or temper, or to resistance to bending, scratching, abrasion or cutting.”
What if I do not know the hardness I need?
Specifying a flexible part raises the immediate question of hardness, great if you can specify this, a problem if you can’t!
Plunkett Associates to the rescue!
Which Shore Hardness do I want for my flexible part?
The Shore Durometer Test is the one we use most commonly due to the ability to measure the hardness of polymeric materials.
How is hardness defined?
Tests have been developed that measure the resistance of plastics including the Shore® (Durometer) test and the Rockwell hardness test. Rubbers are frequently defined on the IRHD scale.
Can I have a flexible part in rubber, silicone, EPDM or Viton?
In a simple world only one material would be required for our flexible component needs. In the real world we often have requirements for materials as diverse as rubber, EPDM, Viton etc.
When I need a flexible part how do I choose which process to use?
Your requirement will be unique to you and various factors will influence the decision including aesthetics, functionality, environment, porosity, hardness, and time.
Rubber and other flexible parts... Should I Injection mould or Compression mould?
Flexible components are present in most assemblies. Whether you want a simple gasket, a seal, a more intricate connector, or a bellows, the common denominator is that the part is required to flex in its operation or assembly.
Natural & Synthetic Rubbers - what are they and how are they used?
Natural rubber is produced from latex, tapped off a rubber tree. Uncured, this rubber has limited application (e.g. adhesives, cements, etc.) and is unlike our expectation of what ‘rubber’ should be. However, after undergoing mastication, blending, calendering, extrusion and finally vulcanisation, it becomes the product we know.
What is the quickest method to get a flexible part?
“Plunkett Associates have excellent breadth of experience, work with high quality partners and have a flexibility that we have found enables challenges to be met successfully, cost effectively and in a timely manner.”
Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
Plunkett associates always find a solution. Whatever we need to prototype, they have a great grasp on the technologies available, costs and lead-times so we get the right solution tailored to the project needs. Have always delivered and never let us down.
“I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense”
Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
"Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground."
Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
“We were really surprised at how quickly they turned round such a high quality prototype and the parts certainly proved their worth. They were of high enough quality to provide a fantastic visual representation and to undergo rigorous testing."
Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
“Accuracy, finish and delivery all first class.”
Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
“We use Plunkett Associates because we want someone we can trust, that knows what they’re talking about, has all the contacts, will provide reliable advice and feedback and will get the right result for us.”
Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
“We always know exactly what we’re getting and we know we won’t be let down on quality, price or lead times.”
Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
“Plunkett Associates truly offer a complete turnkey solution with Speed, Effectiveness and Precision.”
David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
“Kirintec were thrilled with Plunketts. They made a complex process simple and we were just amazed at the lead times achieved. Plus, every single deadline was met without any drama.”
Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
“Thanks to Plunkett Associates flexible, bespoke and cost effective service I was able to produce the objects that I had originally had in mind.”
Simon Ryder, Artist
To create such a consistent quality finish in chrome was an amazing achievement and the prototypes really gave our stand the wow factor.
James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
Interestingly, people who look at it in its own right with little knowledge of what it does, just like it! It’s tactile and it looks good…
Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
"With their simple to understand language, willingness to go the extra mile and approachability, Plunkett Associates were a great partner for our company. We couldn’t be happier with the results of our project. (A working prototype that they got right first time, by the way). Thank you!"
Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
Plunkett Associates worked on the design and production of titanium frames for an artificial heart valve where precision and consistency was paramount.
Communications were efficient and productive with concepts readily incorporated into the final design, and suggestions for improvements all highly appropriate.
The quality of the end product was ideal and I have no doubt that I will use the advice and expertise of Plunkett Associates again.
David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
“Thanks for the present that arrived this morning, as promised. Parts look first class, as always.”
Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
“Plunkett Associates have a fantastic supply chain, work with all sorts of production processes and will always do their utmost to solve a problem.”
“ Plunketts developed a solution that met our precision requirements at a cost significantly lower than alternative manufacturing approaches we had investigated”
Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
“Doing business with you has been an absolute pleasure. You have made my goals a reality. You have been patient, helpful and above all, responsive.
Best service that I have experienced in ages. I consider Plunkett Associates to be an integral part of my business plan moving forward.”
Jet Cooper, Sculptor