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Rubber Pad Forming

Rubber Pad Forming for the Aerospace Industry

Manufacturers in the aerospace industry turn to Jones Metal for short runs of parts formed by the rubber pad forming method because this process side-steps the expensive work of machining steel tools for some jobs. Helicopter and seaplane frame parts are examples. The frames are formed on a hydraulic press or on a hydroform press, depending on the dimensions and shape of the part. Helicopter frame parts characteristically are U-shaped with holes formed into the frame.

FAA airplane repair station customers also have requirements for short runs of rubber pad formed parts.  After forming, heat treatment is often required to harden parts to T4 or T6. Jones Metal utilizes its NADCAP approved in-house heat treat department for this work, which has both solution and aging equipment for aluminum and vacuum capabilities for stainless steel and other high performance alloys.

Rubber pad forming is also an excellent process for the customer who requires a prototype or wants to test design and/or materials without the expense of building steel tools. The forming method is best suited for aluminum but can handle a variety of thin specialty metal blanks, including, titanium, Haynes 230 and 304 stainless steel, all of which are used frequently at Jones Metal.

At Jones Metal, rubber pad forming begins with the form block, which is made of resin board, aluminum, or plastic and is machined according to the customer’s specifications. The rubber pads are hard urethane, with dimensions of 43 inches by 51 inches, each about 1.5 inches thick. Several of these are stacked one on top of another and glued together. They are then fitted into a steel frame, so that when hydraulic pressure is applied, they will not change in width and length. Finally, the form block is placed in a hydraulic or a hydroform press, the steel-framed urethane pads are placed above, a metal blank is inserted between and hydraulic pressure is applied. The metal blank is pressed over the form block, and the desired shape is formed. The part is easily removed from the press for detailed inspection and measurement.

Jones Metal is a versatile rubber pad former, ready to machine a form block to the customer’s detailed specifications and to handle a variety of specialty metal blanks in the forming process. Jones Metal will use a hydraulic or a hydroform press—whichever is needed—to produce the part. Jones Metal also has full in-house heat treatment and laser cutting capabilities.

Call Jones Metal today at 740-545-6381 and let us know how we can help you with your rubber pad forming needs.




AS9100C:2004 with ISO 9001:2000 (Without Design)
A Woman Owned Business

Jones Metal Products Company • 200 N. Center Street • West Lafayette, OH 43845
740-545-6381 • Fax: 740-545-9690

Vacuum Heat Treating Vacuum Heat Treatment