Process Parameter Optimization of EPDM Grommet for the Implementation of Airjet Insertion
Background/Objectives: This study investigated the process parameter optimization for parameters such as the process temperature, process time, and internal diameter of EPDM rubber grommet for an eco-friendly airjet insertion method that does not use adhesive to fix the grommet, a rubber product protecting cables from the in-vehicle frame. The adhesive hardens with time and loses its holding power; moreover, volatile organic compounds may be generated.
Methods/Statistical analysis: Tensile strength and elongation percentage tests were conducted to determine the effects of process temperature and process time on the elastic force. Subsequently, insertion force and separation force experiments were conducted to optimize the process temperature, process time, and internal diameter, which affect the structural properties of the grommet. Grommet specimens were fabricated with three different values each for the process temperature, process time, and internal diameter and the experiments were performed with 27 grommet specimens.
Findings: Based on the experimental data, we analyzed the parameters affecting the insertion and separation forces through the full factorial design of the design of experiment and derived the optimized process parameters and internal diameter values according to the optimization target criteria.
Improvements/Applications: Therefore, the purpose of the proposed airjet insertion method is to hold the cable in place using only the elastic force of the rubber without using adhesive.