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Automotive Rubber Window Channels

By CRGI on

rubber window channelsOn vehicles, flexible rubber window channels are used to seal the space between the vehicle window and body. Window channels hold and secure the window glass, to prevent rattling and unnecessary movement, while providing a sealing function that prevents the entry of moisture, dust and noise into the cabin interior.

What are rubber window channels?

Window channels are used on various types of vehicle windows, including exterior windows and separation windows used in taxis, police vehicles, recreational vehicles, and mass transit vehicles. They also have use in non-automotive applications, such as the sliding windows used in office reception areas.

Often extrusion molded from application-purposed rubber compounds, window channels can have a simple or complex cross-section with a smooth finish. Beaded rubber window channels are molded with stainless steel beads that permit easy installation without any deformation or stretching of the material. In some applications, non-beaded window channels with coated linings are also used.

Rubber window channels: compounds

A key challenge in fabricating window channels is to choose the right rubber compound for the application. This requires consider a range of factors, including the following:

  • Specifications. In many automotive, military and mass transit window channel applications, specifications are developed by the OEM which must be met. Meeting these specifications will require the selection and use of a suitable compound.
  • Service temperatures. A rubber compound which is capable of supporting the expected minimum and maximum service temperatures should be chosen.
  • Chemical and UV resistance. Because window channels are often exposed to moisture, chemicals, and sunlight, a rubber compound possessing the required resistance should be selected.
  • Installation. Knowing whether the window channel will be installed lineside on a new vehicle by production personnel, or retrofitted onto an existing vehicle by maintenance personnel, is an important distinction. If the former, ease and speed of installation becomes a primary concern that will help guide the choice of compound and design.
  • Design requirements. Besides part geometry and configuration, an important design requirement for standard window channels is to consider the minimum bend radius that may be needed at the corners of the channel. Other design requirements that will feed into the compound selection decision include the desired weight (important for vehicle lightweighting), the physical dimensions required, and the flexibility and hardness needed.

For many vehicle window channel applications, EPDM rubber is commonly used. This compound has excellent resistance to moisture, chemicals and UV light, as well as supporting commonly encountered service temperatures. In some applications, the use of elastomeric compounds that possess specific properties and characteristics not obtainable from EPDM may be preferred.

Rubber window channels: value-added from CRG

CRG can supply a variety of rubber window channels to OEM’s, Tier 1-3 suppliers, and vehicle maintenance and repair services. Types of channels we can provide include: locking channels; self-locking channels; and glazing channels. Locking channels are typically a two-piece design that use a lock strip or key to secure the channel into place once installed. Self-locking channels, in contrast, are usually of a one-piece design and self-secure into place when installed. Glazing channels are used to secure window glass in place and are easily installed with use of simple hand tools.

Window channels from CRG are often of a C or U configuration. Shaped like the letters C or U, these channels are easily installed lineside by production personnel, or in the field by maintenance personnel. CRG also produces channels of more complex geometries and configurations to support specific vehicle designs and applications.

CRG has provided custom molded and extruded automotive parts, including rubber window channels, to the vehicle programs of leading OEM’s. With over 30 years’ experience in supplying automotive OEM’s and Tier 1-3 suppliers with sealing solutions and products, we focus on adding value in every project. Our capabilities extend from design to production, including material selection, part testing, proving and prototyping, kanban-driven supply, and inventory warehouse management to support JIT delivery.  Our experienced team is always available to offer material guidance, Production Parts Approval Process (PPAP), CAD drawing support, EDI, bar coding, and global logistics management. All aspects of our production process are governed by our Quality Management System which conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.

Many of the world’s leading automakers, including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz, rely upon CRG to supply their automotive rubber needs. To find out more about the rubber window channels which CRG can supply, please contact our sales department at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.