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- Two Dissimilar Compounds Make One Strong Clamp
Cut-away area of TPE shows multi-shot technology with glass fiber reinforced polypropylene.
Staying cool is easy when you have a portable shade system from Too Kool Recreation. The system’s extremely strong rust-proof Kool Klamp, made from a high-impact compound and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) from RTP Company, allows the canopy umbrella to stand anywhere, even in a swimming pool.
Constructing the Kool Klamp’s unique suction cup, without metal screws or pins in the pivot points, was a challenge for multi-shot molder Rolco, a Minnesota based company that specializes in dual material components. Two dissimilar thermoplastics were necessary to make the design successful. RTP Company developed both materials: a structural compound for the locking lever and pivot points, and a TPE to form the flexible, yet sturdy cup.
“Most companies can only supply one material,” said Rob Hood at Too Kool Recreation. “RTP Company had the engineering staff and flexibility to identify the right combination of materials and they took the initiative to formulate successful products for the entire project. They made our program a priority, from the first sales call through the development group.”
For the structural component, a custom RTP 100 Series glass fiber reinforced polypropylene compound was specified to withstand tremendous pressure when the lever locked down the handle to create surface suction. For the cup, an RTP 2000 Series TPE alloy with a Shore A hardness of 60 was modified with a UV stabilizer to meet specific environmental demands.
“The UV stabilizer was necessary because it may be attached to vehicle fenders and other smooth surfaces outdoors where ultraviolate rays can deteriorate the product over time,” said Hood.
Both molding technique and material selection were essential to the success of the Kool Klamp, which has been expanded into other products such as the Too Kool Volleyball Set and industrial utility applications. Rolco’s advanced multi-shot molding ensured a mechanical and chemical bond between the TPE and glass-reinforced compounds, while RTP Company provided the in-depth understanding of how selection of both TPE and rigid substrate affects bond strength.
“RTP Company not only helped us identify the right materials for the job, but also tested the outcome in their lab,” said Hood. “They came up with the right solution and did it on time.”
Rolco Inc. combines what would traditionally be two separate parts into a single homogeneous component via multi-shot molding. For more information, go to www.rolcoinc.com or call Vern Olson at 507-931-4525.
Too Kool Recreation’s portable shade systems and volleyball sets are available at www.tookoolrecreation.com.