Principal investigator: Robert Michael

University: Gannon University

Industry partners: Corry Rubber Corporation

Gannon University will partner with Corry Rubber Corporation, located in Corry PA., to perform Compressive Stress Relaxation (CSR) tests on elastomeric seals, made from different materials and with different dimensions. CSR is a measure of how much the part retains its sealing force when subjected to compressive forces over time. The seals are placed in special fixtures that allow accurate and centered loading within their operating range. First, tests are conducted on seals made of different materials with the same dimensions, both at room temperature and at operating conditions. Then, using the same material, the thicknesses of the seals are varied and the tests are repeated. Finally, the shape factors of the seals are varied for the same material and the tests are conducted again. Founded in 1961, Corry Rubber serves several different industries including the automotive, rail transportation, HVAC, appliance, and medical industries. Gannon students, as part of a capstone design program under the expert guidance of Robert Michael, Ph.D., will conduct the testing using a variety of elastomers combined with geometry, environmental conditions and temperature variations. Once the study is complete, an optimal material (compound) can be determined for a given set of conditions. This optimal material will then be used in the manufacturing of medical seals.