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Precision Dip Molding of a Neoprene Bellow for the Defense Industry

Precision Dip Molding of a Neoprene Bellow

Project description:
At McCammon Engineering Corp., we've fine-tuned our precision dip molding capabilities and honed our collaboration skills in order to work on the most challenging of highly specialized, custom projects. As a result, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense asked us to produce what is likely the largest bellow ever manufactured using precision dip molding. This required us to work closely with four other firms on the production of this oversized bellow. Dozens of people, at two engineering firms, our raw material supplier and even a latex dip molding firm, invested hundreds of man-hours in this project.

We precision dip molded the neoprene/polychloroprene milling machine spindle cover which is 24" in diameter and measures 36" and 27" along its Z- and X-axis respectively. The bellow mounting surfaces also feature a 3" flange on one end and a 3" cuff at the opposite end. We ensured the .065" thick bellow met tolerances of +.065"/-.010".

Unlike the typical spindle cover, which guards against dust, dirt and metal cuttings, this spindle cover must contain an inert gas and provide an oxygen-free, argon atmosphere for the material being machined. To confirm that our precision dip molded bellow was leak-proof and resisted milling cutting/fluids as well as gamma radiation, we performed multiple tests and inspections.

For more information on this precision dip molding project for the defense industry, see the table below or contact us directly.

Highlights of a Precision Dip Molding Project

Product Description This is a Large Neoprene, Gamma Radiation Resistant Milling Machine Spindle Cover for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Dip Molding Capabilities Applied/Processes Primary:
Dip Molding

Equipment Used to Manufacture Part Die Press
Dip Crane
Industrial Oven
Coagulant Tanks, Dip Tanks, etc.
Overall Part Dimensions Ø 24.00" Diameter
Length: Z-axis @ 36.00"; X-axis @ 27.00"
Special Features Bellow Mounting Surfaces - 3" Flange on One End; 3" Cuff on Opposite End.
Tightest Tolerances + 0.065" / - 0.010"
Material Used Neoprene/Polychloroprene
Thickness: 0.065"
Material Finish Black: Flat/Semi-Gloss
Additional Facts Unlike typical spindle covers which prevent dust, dirt, metal cuttings, etc. from contacting the spindle, this application requires the bellow contain an inert gas, providing an oxygen free atmosphere of machined material. Thus the bellow is required to be leak proof, resistant to milling/cutting fluids and resistant to Gamma radiation while containing an oxygen free, argon atmosphere.
Design/Engineering CAD Bellow Engineering; CAD Tooling Design; Weight and Displacement Calculations.
  • Drawing Type Accepted: PDF
  • Tooling Cost: $8900.00 (2008 pricing)
In process testing/inspection performed 100% Inspection
Dimensional Inspection
Leak Testing
Industry for Use Department of Defense Machining
Volume 4-6 per Year
Delivery/Turnaround Time 2-3 Months
Delivery Location Erie, Colorado
Standards Met Customer Specifications, 2D CAD Drawing
Product Name Z-Axis Bellow
Why did you choose to showcase this Job? This bellow exemplifies the specialty, custom nature of our capabilities and service. Likely the largest bellow ever produced via dip molding. Issues unique to dip molding parts this size required months to work through. We worked closely with two other engineering firms, our raw material supplier and another latex dip molding firm to design, develop and bring the part to production. Dozens of people adding up to hundreds of man-hours were involved to produce the first 6 bellows.