For over 60 years at Schenke Tool Co., customers have relied on us to provide innovative solutions to challenging project requirements; this is exactly what we did in the project highlighted here. This insulator was manufactured from G10, which is a composite composed of glass layers and an epoxy resin, known for its flexibility and impact strength. However, these characteristics make it difficult and messy to machine, especially given the dimensional requirements of the project. In fact, this project was such a challenge that most manufacturers would not have even been able to attempt it.
Early on in the project cycle, it became clear that conventional machining such as milling and turning would not be the best option. We determined that abrasive waterjet cutting was the only practical method that would be able to accommodate the customers’ requirements. This is possible because one of our areas of expertise is waterjet cutting, which we have been providing for over 15 years. We also operate one of the most advanced abrasive waterjet cutting systems available. By waterjetting this part, we were able to produce a finished part in one setup, therefore keep the cycle time quick resulting in a part that is very cost efficient.
Due to the difficulty of the job requirements, we first ran a prototype to ensure that all of the design criteria were met and that the part would function as engineered. The finished design featured two interlocking halves that connected smoothly without any additional steps; this was a result of the ±.005” tolerances that we were able to achieve.
After the initial prototype was accepted, we then produced 300 of these ½” thick and 3” diameter insulators. Our understanding of how to maximize the benefits and features of waterjet cutting allowed us to produce precision parts far faster than any conventional machining process.
To learn more about this project, or the processes used to manufacture it, contact us directly.