ISO 9001:2015 QMS certification.

Hi Readers,

Nearly Easter …… hope you have a good break.  Easter always signals that winter is over and better weather (hopefully) is on the way.

I have some great news to pass on.  Our QMS (quality management system) certification was due for renewal, so we took the bull by the horns and went for the new, latest version viz: ISO 9001: 2015.  It took quite a lot of work, by all concerned, because the “thinking” now has a different emphasis, but we did it.  We are now fully certificated to ISO 9001:2015, as from early this month.

Copies of our new certificate, either “hard” or digital, are now available to our customers.

As Matt has now moved on to pastures new (Good Luck Matt), I will be one of the contact points.  Please feel free to contact me.

norman.challinor@yahoo.co.uk

Cheers for now

Regards

Norman

Taking a closer look – SEM Pictures of FKM Crumb

After a bit of good old fashioned arm twisting, I managed to convince an old university friend to use some seriously expensive pieces of kit to peek into the fine detail of the pride of J Allcock and Son’s product line. I sent several samples of our Ambiently-ground FKM crumb, and a competitor’s Cryogenically-ground FKM Crumb to my mate Rob Hooley, studying for a PhD in Materials Science at the University of Leeds, who was kind enough to put them through a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and produce some fantastic pictures.

 

Picture 1 (Left) & 2 (Right): Cryogenically ground FKM 30’s Mesh and Ambient Ground FKM 40’s Mesh

These two pictures above show the difference in surface structure between cryogenically and ambient ground FKM crumb. The Cryogenic material has been frozen and shattered, thus the particle morphology appears much more angular and sharp compared to the torn material, with extremely rough edges due to the physical tearing of the rubber. The coarser material should bond better into a new FKM compound, due to the much larger surface area exposed to the fresh compound, and the possible exposed polymer chains due to the tearing of the material. As cryogenic freezing causes the rubber to break along micro-fissures or micro-tears, the surface would have fewer areas available for bonding.

Picture 3 (Left) & 4 (Right): Cryogenically ground FKM 72’s Mesh and Ambient Ground FKM 72’s Mesh

The pictures above again show the two types of ground FKM, but this time the smaller 72’s Mesh size. The size of the 2 grains is very similar, which is to be expected, but again the coarseness of the ambient ground material can still be seen. The scale of the peaks and troughs are not as extreme, but as this is a smaller grain, the increase in ‘bond-able’ surface area is not to be sniffed at. We at J Allcock and Sons believe (and have done many trials that prove our belief) that our ambient ground 72’s mesh FKM binds better than our 40’s mesh FKM crumb. 72’s mesh crumb can therefore be used at higher concentrations in newly made FKM compound, therefore saving you even more on compound cost.

Picture 5 (Left) and 6 (Right).  5 Shows Ambient ground FKM 72 mesh, using ‘LU’ settings, while 6 shows the same material, at the same resolution using ‘NM’ settings.

The ‘LU’ (seen at the base of this picture) indicates a technique that focuses on showing the topography of the sample using secondary electron imaging. SE imaging (SEI) involves electrons produced by ionisation induced by the incoming electron beam. These electrons are very low energy, and as such are very sensitive to the surface structure, this allows for the surface of the sample to be resolved in great detail, even showing the 3 dimensional structure of individual crumb.

Meanwhile, the ‘NM’ (again at the base of the picture) indicates Backscattered electron imaging (BSE), where electrons hit the sample with great energy, allowing them to penetrate the surface and interact with the bulk of the material. This results in the electrons bouncing around the material before being released. The energy they leave the material with is directly proportional to the mass of the atoms they interact with, much like how sound waves are absorbed by a carpeted floor, but bounce off a marble floor. Therefore, the light specks seen in the photo are heavier parts of the rubber compound, mainly Oxides of Magnesium, Calcium and Silicon (Thanks again to some further elemental analysis by Rob Hooley) as the heavier elements reflect more electrons and thus create a brighter image.

Pictures 5 and 6 therefore show the same sample of 72’s Mesh FKM using two types of imaging technique. Picture 5 (like the previous images) shows the surface contours of the FKM crumb, again showing the coarser nature of our material, which is ideal for binding into the compound matrix. Picture 6, however, reveals some of the components of the FKM compound as well as giving a different angle on the depth of some of the troughs and the quality of the FKM compound itself (nice even spread of a moderate amount of fillers can be seen in the crumb itself).

Picture 7 (Top left) and 8 (Top right). 7 shows cryogenically ground 72 Mesh FKM Crumb using LU (SEI) Settings, while 8 shows the same material under NM (BSE) Settings. Pictures 9 (bottom left) and picture 10 (bottom right) show ambient ground 72’s mesh FKM at the limits of the SEM’s resolution, again using ‘LU’ and ‘NM’ techniques respectively

These final images push the resolution of this electron microscope to its limits, with a scale of 10 microns seen in the bottom right hand corners of the lower two images. At such a large magnification, the difference in the surfaces of the crumb is more subtle. The main difference that can be seen would be the exposure of the filler. Picture 8 shows the filler underneath the surface, while picture 10 shows the exposed filler at the surface. We believe that the exposed filler will create an increasingly jagged surface, helping bonding into the compound at a smaller scale.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures, and how microscopic differences in FKM crumb can have a large effect on the resultant compound.

Thanks again for the Fantastic Pictures, and some much needed advice on some of the more technical sections of this post to Rob Hooley, Here’s to our next pint in 2016!

Join the Team! 2 Roles open at J. Allcock and Sons

After 2 years here at J. Allcock and Sons I have learnt more than I could fit into a single blog post, and gained experience across a wide range or areas of the working world. However, I have decided to move to the science sector and thus the role of Technical Sales Representative will soon be vacant.

If you want to work with a fantastically accommodating team in a wide ranging role that not only involves visiting clients, solving there technical issues, finding new clients, but also helping keeping this website running and developing new projects, please get in touch through the enquiries link.

We are also looking for a new Financial Manager, again, if you would like to join the team please get in touch.

We look forward to hearing from you and I’d personally like to again thank everyone at J. Allcock and Sons for a brilliant 2 years!

Customized for the Client

We’ve recently had client enquires for materials like those found on our site, but after trialling, certain aspects weren’t right for the client’s need. It could be the viscosity of a Silicone oil, the particle size of a Calcium Carbonate, the type of Pine Tar or colour of our Grey EPDM crumb.

We’re always happy to do the extra work for find the right product for you, no matter how precise the detail, we’ll endeavour to meet your every need in the material we supply you.

Don’t settle for inadequate material, get in touch and we’ll find the product with the right characteristics, with a reliable service record.

Good Enough to Eat – Food Grade Silicone Oils

As we have just sold our first major consignment of Pure, Food Grade Silicone oil, I thought it would be worth posting on our blog. Food Grade Silicone oils are exactly like Industrial Grade silicone oils in that they are pure Polydimethylsiloxane (unlike or successful Allcosil 356 and 435 FG Emulsions, which are emulsified versions of this oil), but as they are food grade there production is made in a strictly controlled clean environment and the viscosities available are limited between 350cst and 1000cst viscosities. Though the material is food grade, and thus complies with all the necessary EU and FDA regulations, we wouldn’t suggest eating it!

If you’re interested in Food grade Silicone oils or Silicone products please get in touch and we will be happy to assist.

Straight to Print – DC 2418, The Post-Application Printable/Paintable Silicone Emulsion

One of the downsides of using Silicone oils or emulsions as a release agent is that the material you’ve released from the mould can’t be printed on or painted until the silicone oil has been cleaned off. The very nature of silicone oil, that it’s a non-poler, slippy polymer, means that any paint or ink wouldn’t penetrate the layer of oil, or would mix in with it. DC 2418 emulsion not only allows printing and painting of post-moulded products, thanks to Ethylated Silicone oil (and some other ingredients) but as it’s an emulsion, it’s as easy to use as traditional Silicone Emulsions.

If you’re interested in the specific properties of DC 2418, and it’s possible uses, please get in touch.

Sehr gute zeit in Nürnberg!

After a busy few weeks, thanks to the tremendous interest generated by our stand at DKT, We’re happy to say that our venture to the European Technical Rubber Convention was a great success!

Highlighting the use of Rubber crumb and Granule in rubber compounds, without the loss of properties, Our unique FKM crumbing facility and the extremely small particle size we can generate was received with great interest. We were able to show, first hand, how fine our FKM powder can be made, thus increasing the amount you can add into your compounds and saving you considerable costs without any deterioration of FKM properties.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who can to visit our stand and we hope to continue providing technical knowledge and top quality products to all our clientele.

J. Allcock and Sons at DKT/IRC Nuremberg and Launch of the Multi-Language Website

We are happy to announce that we will be hosting a stand at the Deutsche Kautschuk-Tagung / IRC International Rubber Conference at the NuernbergMesse GmbH exhibition centre. We will be exhibiting Rubber Reclaim, Rubber Crumb and FKM Crumb, which promises to revolutionize the Fluoroelastomer Industry. With more and more compounders and moulders showing an interest and using our fine grades of FKM crumb, we would be happy to chat about the benefits of our product. Andrew Rushton, Managing Director of J. Allcock and Sons, and I will be manning the stand and hope to see you there to answer any questions our queries you may have.

In preparation for the conference, we have also had our website translated into French, German and Spanish. We hope this will make finding the correct product and information easier for our clients on the continent. If you find any grammatical or spelling errors on any page, please contact me and I will happily incorporate your suggestions to continually improve your experience of our website.

No Snake Silicone Oil Salesman – Allcocks Out and About in Manchester

Over the past few months, the Sales team at J.Allcock and Sons have been attending events in Manchester.

Firstly, Myself and our MD, Andrew Rushton, attended a Vistage Open day. With a lecture given by one of the masters of sales, Lars Tewes, I certainly learnt a lot about how not only are we here to help solve issues our clients may be facing, but we are also here to help spot problems or issues that may not be obvious to the client and may arise in the future. It was an extremely informative and fun day and I personally hope to put some of the lessons into practice.

Mr Rushton and Myself taking a well-earned coffee break!

I also appeared as a guest at a graduate careers event at the University of Manchester, giving advice to students on how to get into the world of work. It was good to try and help students who are in a position I was in not so many years ago to try and make the most of their time at University (maybe avoid some of the mistakes your author made!)

Your author speaking at the University of Manchester Graduate careers event.

We might be often out of the office meeting clients, but it’s also good to try and give back to the local community and devote time to personal development. By attending lectures and speeches, we hope to be able to deliver a more streamlined and dedicated service to our clientèle, react to sudden changes in a situation more constructively and continue to provide the excellence and personal focus J. Allcock and Sons is known for.