The Low Tolerance Spec

The United Seal & Rubber Co. Blog

Telecommunications: Thinking Inside the Box with Virgil Alonso

Posted by Virgil Alonso on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 @ 13:10 PM

Protecting the Electronics inside of an enclosure

A popular and often overused catchphrase is, "to think outside the box".  I have learned that in the telecommunications market that it is better to think inside the box.  The reason I make this statement is because a very important component of a telecommunications enclosure is the electronics inside the "box".  Not only are the electronic components expensive but the cost of failure is a great cost to consider.  For example, a failure of a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) unit would result in lost TV reception, high speed internet access and land line phone service.  Some above ground - below ground fiber units may support up to 10,000 customers from a single box.  Imagine having 10,000 unhappy customers on your hands.  It is not a good situation!


Wind Driven Rain Test

We have partnered up with our suppliers and have worked with multiple companies that are designing and producing fiber and other type enclosures.  Passing the wind driven rain test (WDRT) is a major technical barrier for many enclosure manufacturers.  Sponge may have been an acceptable seal prior to the WDRT but, many of the enclosure manufacturers have discovered that it doesn't meet today's requirements.  Sponge will take a compression set and I know stories of WDRT failures due to the poor performance of sponge with the enclosure application.


United Seal & Rubber Offers EMI/RFI Shielding Products

Often, a distributor can offer either non-conductive or conductive sealing solutions.  The beauty of a company like United Seal & Rubber is that we can offer both.  Stay with me a bit longer regarding this theme of thinking inside the box.  Not only is it important to keep the outside elements away from the enclosure electronics but equally important is the EMI/RFI shielding requirements.  To help our enclosure customer, we offer the following products:  Extruded conductive elastomers, EMI shielded windows, Knitted wire mesh gaskets, EMI shielded vents, foil tape w/peel-off paint mask, co-extruded conductive elastomers, corrosion-resistant conductive elastomers. form-in-place conductive elastomers, conductive fabrics over foam gaskets, Be-Cu figerstock, conductive plastic/elastomer covers and shielded vents w/intumesent coating.  In-house, we offer fabrication, gasket fabrication, splicing and vulcanizing capabilities.  United Seal’s Quality Management System ISO-9001 and AS9100 certified and has been providing sealing solutions since 1974.


Our Value Proposition

The average cost of a FTTH enclosure installed per household was $715( data -2006; ).  One of my customers threw out a figure of $100 for the cost of their enclosure.  The cost of the seals we provide are a small portion of the overall cost of an enclosure.  The value of our products is:

  • Provides a reliable sealing solution that passes the WDRT

  • Protects the internal electronics

  • Provides EMI/RFI shielding

  • Reduces the number of service calls for the provider

  • End result - happy and satisfied customer for the provider

The performance of our products vs. sponge has a positive effect on our customer's bottom line.  The upfront cost is high enough. Why risk additional cost due to potential seal failure?  It is all about, as I like to call it...  Thinking Inside the Box.


Winning Formula:  Non-Conductive Seals

Our solution for our customer's needs has been a hollow tube that can be provided as a cut-to-length or spliced & vulcanized part.  The material we use to produce these parts is a 60 durometer gray silicone.  Why hollow?  A hollow profile will give you the low compression capabilities that you get with sponge but it doesn't take the compression set that is typical with sponge.  This material has gained acceptance in the market because of its excellent performance and UL ratings (UL 94 V-O, UL 157, UL 94HB and UL 50).  It may be gray in color but I think of it as the gold standard for the enclosure industry.  Lets think inside the box together...


United Seal & Rubber is a veteran owned/small disadvantaged business who’s Quality Management System is certified to both ISO-9001 and AS9100 standards. Our fabrication is handled inside our factory located in Atlanta GA.  We are an authorized Parker Engineered Materials Group distributor that includes all of their seal products and Chomerics line of products.  Our sales staff has 10 - 50 years of experience and our goal is to make your job easier!







Tags: Specification Tip, Unique Gasket Applications, Quality of Design, Value Engineering