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APPLICATION TECHNOLOGY Southco plugs the leaks


When seeking to increase the energy and operational efficiencies of its HVAC enclosures by eliminating air leakage through the latching systems, air conditioning equipment manufacturer Air Handling Systems Ltd (AHS) looked to Southco to provide the solution.


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the fastening technique has to work in combination with a silicone adhesive sealant and avoid any risk of contamination. Working in partnership with energy efficient water heating


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stage of the car’s construction. This included the preparation of moulds using seamless


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modelling pastes and boards. It also involved new concepts for developing different automotive components using stereolithography and rapid manufacturing resins, as well as the use of encapsulation solutions for the car’s electronic components. The broad application of high performance composites was a


significant factor in increasing the performance and exclusivity of the vehicle’s design. As such, differentiated materials including renewable flax and basalt fibres for reinforcing composite parts have been used in combination with toughened resins as well as halogen free, fire resistant resin and flexible composite. The ‘U-Box’ also benefits from a new resin range that can be


systems manufacturer Clage GmbH, of Lüneburg, Germany, international fastening and assembly technology specialist Böllhoff, tailored its RIVTAC®


joining system to meet these


specific production requirements. The flat plate solar energy collector delivers very high energy


yields - in excess of 80% - and weighs only 32.5kg due to its lightweight geometry and materials. An aluminium frame is


hen AHS pressure tested its air handling units, it found that the major cause of air leakage was via the sealing of the enclosure doors. Primarily, this was because the latches available at the time failed to properly engage and provide sufficient compression to seal the gasket on the thick door of the cabinets. Wes Campbell, technical director at AHS, explained: “We approached Southco who offered the perfect solution through


modifying its standard E3 Vise Action compression latch and having additional thread for allowing the engagement of the nut at the rear of the latch, thereby accommodating tight compression for up to 50mm thick doors.” Ulrike Sturman of Southco explains: “The Vise Action design of Southco’s E3 latch series has proved itself in millions of installations


where vibration, sealing and quality are paramount. Its smooth operation aligns the pawl behind the frame and draws it up tight with a single continuous half-turn motion. Its compression action provides consistent 6.4 mm (0.25 inch) pull-up for environmental sealing in gasketed applications, and helps reduce or eliminate noise and rattles caused by vibration. Over-centre latching resists accidental opening due to shock or vibration.” Whilst the industry standard is Leakage Class B 1000 Pascal, AHS equipment achieves Leakage Class C 1500 Pascal as a minimum.


However, for some applications, it has reached Leakage Class D 2500 Pascal. Subject to the same rigid test conditions, the Southco E3 compression latch has successfully passed this same Class D rating.


Blind fastener solution


High speed blind fastening technology has been adapted to meet the critical strength and contamination-free assembly requirements of an innovative lightweight solar panel.


onstruction of the solar collector frame requires the secure fixing of an outer frame from one side only, without pre-punching or drilling to avoid compromising the structural integrity of the main frame. Additionally


added as a final step in the manufacturing process to optimise strength and protect the solar cells and service connections. This is securely fastened at each corner with two RIVTAC® To minimise application cycle time the tacks are applied


fasteners.


using Böllhoff’s portable high speed pneumatic hand tool which has a cycle time of less than one second. The tack is presented to the components to be joined at high speed and penetrates both materials causing a short-term rise in temperature in the joining zone which improves flow. The materials being joined are displaced into the straight knurling on the tack shaft and achieve a fine tolerance fit. Jakob Meier, project manager at Clage GmbH, said the RIVTAC® technology “significantly shorted the realisation time of the project.”


Huntsman helps build urban electric car Huntsman Advanced Materials has announced its technical involvement in an innovative project that showcases the possibilities of building a concept electric car – the ‘U-Box’ – using environmentally sustainable components.


he ‘U-Box’ has been designed and produced by French design company D3. While using advanced materials from its Araldite branded portfolio, Huntsman also researched and developed innovative, sustainable products for each


used in fast cycle, resin transfer molding (RTM) for high volume, automotive and mass transportation parts production. High performance, state-of-the-art thin barrier coatings


developed by Huntsman provide protection for the flexible Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), which have been integrated in the car’s composite structure, Huntsman point out that these paper thin, lightweight devices consume up to 70% less energy compared with conventional light sources. During assembly, Huntsman also provided several


composite bonders offering high strength, high flexibility or high temperature resistance. In addition to this, Huntsman, supported by NRG Wheels Ltd, equipped the vehicle with composite wheels. As a production model, the ‘U-Box’ could be used as an


industrial site vehicle or for park and ride hospitality services at events. Its two pallet capacity could also support short distance deliveries in inner cities.


122 Fastener + Fixing Magazine • Issue 68 March 2011


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