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Two Dissimilar Compounds Combine to Make One Strong Clamp

  • Tuesday, 22nd April 2008
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

When Too Kool Recreation wanted to develop a portable shade system that would allow a canopy umbrella to stand anywhere, even in a swimming pool, they chose a high-impact compound and a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) from RTP.

In a swimming pool, the strong, rustproof Kool Klamps attach an 8 ft. diameter umbrella to the smooth underwater wall surface of a swimming pool. By pushing the suction pads against the side of the pool, then pushing the levers down flat, the clamps hold for hours. The clamps can also be used on cars and RVs.

Constructing the Kool Klamp’s unique suction cup, without metal screws or pins in the pivot points, was a challenge for multi-shot moulder, Rolco, a Minnesota-based moulder who specializes in dual material components. Two dissimilar thermoplastics were used for the design — a structural compound for the locking lever and pivot points, and a TPE to form the flexible, yet sturdy cup.

For the structural component, RTP Company formulated a custom RTP 100 Series glass fibre reinforced polypropylene compound to withstand the pressure when the system’s lever locks down the handle to create surface suction. For the cup, an RTP 2000 Series TPE alloy with a Shore A hardness of 60 was modified with a UV stabilizer to meet specific environmental demands.

“”The UV stabilizer was necessary because it may be attached to vehicle fenders and other smooth surfaces outdoors where ultraviolet rays can deteriorate the product over time,”” said Rob Hood of Too Kool Recreation.

According to Hood, “RTP Company had the engineering staff and the flexibility to identify the right combination of materials and they took the initiative to formulate the compounds for the entire project. They made our program a priority, from the first sales call through the development group.”

Both moulding technique and material selection were essential to the success of the Kool Klamp, which has been expanded into other products such as the Too Kool Volleyball Set and industrial utility applications.

“”RTP Company not only helped us identify the right materials for the job, but also tested the outcome in their lab,”” added Hood. “”They came up with the right solution and did it on time.””

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