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Ultimate guide to using rubber trims to protect edges

The edges of doors, windows, and other surfaces with thin or sharp edges can cause injuries to those handling them if not covered. Rubber trim edging provides a simple and effective solution to this problem. It is simple to apply by gently clipping it over the potentially hazardous edges of surfaces like sheet metal, glass, plastic, or fibreglass. Once in place, it acts as a protective layer for both the material and the people handling it.

You may have seen rubber edge trim in action before on the doors and windows of various vehicles, including cars, boats, motorhomes, buses, and trains. It is also commonly found on work surface edges, cabinets, and lockers. If you work in the industrial sector, it is used to cover sharp edges on sheet metal and other potentially hazardous materials to prevent workplace injuries.

In this guide, we'll provide everything you need to know about flexible rubber trim edging, including its benefits, applications, and the available types.

Understanding the need for edge protection

If you've never used rubber trims before, you may wonder what they are and how they work.

Rubber trim edging is a versatile product frequently used in both industrial and everyday applications. Here at Seals Direct, all kinds of customers buy our rubber trim products. One day, we may sell just one metre of rubber trim to an individual repairing the door on their vehicle. The next day, we may sell multiple coils to an industrial company to mass-manufacture commercial products.

The primary purpose of rubber edge trim is usually to offer protection. Protection for the material it is being applied to and the people handling it. When working with thin sheets of material like sheet metal, glass, plastic, wood, or fibreglass, covering their edges with rubber trim can minimise the risk of cuts, abrasions, or other injuries. In some industries, applying rubber edging trim is crucial in preventing workplace injuries and complying with relevant safety standards and regulations. 

However, it's not only the people handling the materials that the trim protects; it also protects the surface from damage. Rubber trim is made from durable and robust materials capable of absorbing impact. This protects the surfaces it's applied to from bumps, wear, tear, and environmental factors.

Some types of rubber trim edging also feature a seal and can be applied to door, window, or hatch edges to form a tight seal and prevent the ingress of water, air, and other foreign objects. This can be particularly useful for vehicle doors, including cars, motorhomes, boats, and caravans. 

Rubber trim may also be used to give a neat and professional finish to surface edges, which is particularly important when manufacturing consumer products, repairing vehicles, and other applications where appearance is a key factor.

Applications of rubber trim for edge protection

Rubber trim is very versatile and can be fitted onto the edge of various materials, including fibreglass, glass, sheet metal, polycarbonate, and wood. Its versatility makes it a popular edge protection and sealing solution within various industries and applications.

Industrial sector

Flexible rubber trim edging is often applied to the edges of machinery and equipment within the industrial sector to protect workers from injuries caused by impact or sharp edges.

Construction industry

Within the construction industry, flexible rubber edge trim is commonly used to seal windows, doors, and other openings from the ingress of water, air, and other debris. It also offers excellent insulation and soundproofing qualities.

Vehicles

Rubber trims with seals are commonly applied to doors, windows, and hatches on vehicles like cars, vans, motorhomes, and caravans. They are manufactured from durable materials that resist harsh weather conditions, sunlight and moisture, making them the ideal choice for sealing vehicles against the weather and reducing noise inside the vehicle.

Marine

Flexible rubber trims with seals are used extensively throughout the marine industry to seal boats and other marine vessels' doors, windows, and hatches against water ingress. Rubber trim is ideal for this because of its excellent durability and resistance to sun exposure and salt water. 

Furniture

Rubber edging trim is sometimes used to cover sharp edges during furniture production. This makes the furniture safer, reducing the risk of someone injuring themselves, and can also add to its aesthetic appeal.

Other applications of rubber trim include recreational equipment like playgrounds and gyms, healthcare and laboratory equipment, consumer products, and electronics and appliances.

Here at Seals Direct, we supply rubber trim strips by the metre, by the coil, or cut to the required length. Most rubber trim edging is very quick and easy to apply. Simply cut to the desired length and then fit it onto the edge by tapping it with your hand or a soft-faced hammer. Most edge trims are manufactured with a self-gripping metal spine. This allows the edge trim to hold itself in place without any adhesive. Because no adhesive is applied, the trim can be removed and reused multiple times, making it excellent value for money.

Exploring rubber trim: What makes it ideal for edge protection?

Despite its name, rubber edging trim is not always made from rubber. Depending on the type of trim you require, it may be made from PVC or EPDM (a rubber compound).

Let's take a look at some of the properties of these materials that make them ideal for edge protection.

  • Durable – PVC and EPDM are both extremely durable materials that can withstand and absorb impact without losing their shape. This durability helps rubber edges protect surface edges from bumps and wear and tear.
  • Flexible – Rubber trim is made from highly flexible materials, making it easy to fit around curved surfaces and contours.
  • Highly resistant – Rubber trim made from PVC is resistant to most substances, including chemicals, oil, fuel, UV, air, and ozone. PVC is around the same hardness as the rubber on a car tyre and has an operating temperature range between -20°C and +60°C. In comparison, rubber trim made from EPDM has good resistance to most chemicals, UV, air, and ozone but is not recommended for use in environments where it may come into contact with oil or fuel. However, EPDM rubber trim can withstand more extreme operating temperatures than PVC, between -40 °C and +120°C.
  • Cost-effective – Compared to other edge protection products, rubber edge trim is a cost-effective solution.

Types of rubber trim available

As we've just learnt, rubber trim edging is used for various applications within various industries, so there is no one size to fit all requirements.

A wide variety of rubber trim strips are available to buy in varying thicknesses, sizes, colours, and specifications.

At Seals Direct, we sell the following types of rubber trim strips:

  • Edge trims – These rubber trims are made from PVC and used to protect edges on panels, doors, and windows to protect the surface and reduce the risk of injuries occurring. 
  • Edge trims and seals – These metal-reinforced edge trims create seals on doors, hatches, lockers, enclosures, and cabinets. They provide a safe and aesthetically pleasing finish.
  • Edge trims with lip seal – These trims feature a rubber lip attached to either the top or side of a metal-reinforced rubber trim. They seal doors, hatches, lockers, and other enclosures to reduce the ingress of water, air, and other foreign objects.
  • Edge trims with side seals – These rubber trims have a metal-reinforced spine and feature a sponge-sealing bulb on the side. They are used for edge protection and to create watertight seals on doors, hatches, lockers, enclosures, and cabinets.
  • Edge trims with top seal – Featuring a metal-reinforced spine and a top sponge sealing bulb, these edge trims form a reliable watertight seal. They are commonly used to seal doors, lockers, hatches, enclosures, and cabinets from the ingress of water, air, and other foreign objects.

For help selecting the right type of rubber trim edging for your requirements, contact the team at Seals Direct for expert advice. Can't find a suitable product in our range? We can also design and manufacture bespoke rubber trim edging to meet specific requirements.

Benefits of using rubber trim for edge protection

Rubber trim is used across a wide range of different applications because of its versatility and the many benefits its use offers, including the following:

Minimise risk of injury – Covering sharp edges with rubber trim minimises the risk of those handling the material suffering cuts or abrasions from coming into contact with the edge.

Increase longevity – By protecting edges from damage using rubber trim, you can increase the longevity of the surface they're part of. Extending the surface's lifespan and protecting it from damage means less frequent repairs or replacements are required, increasing cost-efficiency.

Comply with health and safety regulations – Employers have a duty of care to their employees. Protecting edges with rubber trim can help them comply with relevant health and safety standards by creating a safe work environment free from hazards. 

Aesthetic appeal – Rubber trim strips can improve the aesthetic appeal of edges by providing a neat edge and a clean, finished look. Rubber trim edging is also available in various colours and profiles, allowing you to select a finish that matches your design requirements.

Noise reduction – When applied around doors and windows, trim rubber can help to reduce noise, helping to create a quieter and more comfortable environment. 

Choose Seals Direct for rubber trim

With over 50 years of combined experience in the rubber sealing industry, our team at Seals Direct are adept at understanding the customer's problem and recommending the most effective product or solution. Our commitment to quality, extensive knowledge, and unparalleled customer service have earned us a reputation as one of the UK's leading providers of rubber seals and trims.

No job is too big or too small for our team. Our happy clients range from individual customers to large-scale industrial enterprises, and we ensure that every one of our customers receives the same high standard of service. Our huge inventory includes over 760 different products designed to meet various requirements. And if we can't solve your problem using one of those? Then we can design and manufacture a  bespoke solution for you!

We put down our success to our fast and efficient service and dedication to solving every customer's problem, no matter how big or small. Contact our team today by calling 01425 617722 for help or advice with selecting the right product to meet your requirements.

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