Rubber Pad Forming for the Aerospace Industry

For manufacturers in the aerospace industry seeking rubber pad forming, Jones Metal has become a trusted partner. Aerospace manufacturers interested in frame part production consistently look to Jones Metal as their source for rubber pan forming, a method that forms quality parts without the production of expensive steel tools.   

The Jones Metal Process

Our rubber pad forming process begins with form block, a material made from resin board, aluminum or plastic. The form block is then machined according to each customer’s unique specifications. The rubber pads used in the process are made of 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. When hydraulic pressure is applied, the pads maintain their dimensions. Finally, the form block is placed in a hydraulic or a hydroform press and the steel-framed urethane pads are placed above. A metal blank is inserted between the two components 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 before the final product is sent to the customer.

This process is ideal for customers interested in prototyping and testing new designs and materials. The rubber pad forming method is best suited for aluminum, but also can be used with many thin specialty metal blanks including titanium and Haynes 230 and 304 stainless steel.

Applications of Rubber Pad Forming

Manufacturers in need of helicopter and seaplane frame components often work with Jones Metal to produce quality parts. Because of the nature of these pieces, precision and quality are essential. Using the rubber pad forming process, the frames are formed according to the specific dimensions and shape requirements supplied by the customer. Since these parts are typically U-shaped with holes formed into the frame, accuracy in design and production is key.

Jones Metal also works with FAA airplane repair station customers to create short runs of rubber pad formed parts. With these parts, hardened services are also required. Our NADCAP approved in-house heat treatment department allows us to harden parts to the required T4 or T6.

Our rubber pad forming experience allows us to work with customers to produce parts that work with their detailed specifications and designs. Call Jones Metal today at 740-545-6381 and let us know how we can help you with your rubber pad forming needs. 

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