As we are sure you already know, AFAC’s range of products are used throughout the finishing industry to mask areas where coating would be detrimental to the finished product. However, what isn’t generally known are the more unusual uses we’ve been contacted for over the years.
Back in the 1980’s, a range of precision made silicone rubber tubes were developed specifically to fit snugly over metric studs, to prevent the threads becoming contaminated by electro-static powder coating. Usually these tubes were supplied in cut lengths, to suit the maximum length of thread found on weld and self-clinching studs. An increasing number of customers began to request the tube supplied in long lengths, for them to cut to lengths that suited them.
It turns out that our M4 tube was also ideal for aquarium air supplies and aquarists couldn’t get enough of it. Our standard green colour blended in with the fish tanks’ underwater vegetation and, unlike the natural rubber tubes used at the time, AFAC’s BAKEWELL silicone rubber didn’t deteriorate with time, was unaffected by the exposure to warm water and was easy to wipe clean.
And in keeping with the aquatic theme…
If you have one of those nice plastic or rubber pond liners, we all know how easy they are to fit. Dig a pond shaped hole, line it with some sand and just throw in the liner. Trim and add slabs or rocks around the edges and fill with water. Add the odd water plants, gnomes and possibly some fish.
Perfect way to relax…until one day you notice the majority of the water originally in the pond, seems to have evaporated! So, out with the hose and top it up again. Repeat until you grudgingly admit there may be a leak. However, on close examination you discover it’s not a leak, but instead it’s multiple leaks. Some head scratching later the answer is discovered.
It’s your friendly local heron.
When you are not sitting in you deckchair, the blighter drops in for a snack. It spots a fish and stabs at it, but it doesn’t always succeed in impaling the prey, but instead impales your pond liner. The more, or possibly less, fish available to him, the more or less holes in the liner.
I suffered from this phenomenon and it took me a while to twig it was all the work of the heron, but not to worry, you just need to patch the holes. Easier said than done, as I discovered.
There must be an AFAC hack for that!
Walking through the warehouse, I saw some of our BAKEWELL PLUGS being packed up to ship to a customer and I suddenly realised that these could be the solution to the leaky liner!
Back home, with a selection of sizes of the silicone rubber BAKEWELL PLUGS, I soon found one of the several alternative sizes could be pushed into the heron created holes, until the head butted up against the liner. When the pond was topped up again, the leaks were gone and the weight of the water pushing down on the head of the BAKEWELL PLUG, prevented them from coming out, while the tapered opposite end made for an easy seal.
As a by-product of the properties of the silicone rubber they are manufactured from, the plugs won’t deteriorate with time, heat or cold, even at temperatures well below zero degrees.
Quick, simple, effective, but not at all what they were originally designed to do.
Have you any interesting alternative uses for AFAC products? We’d love to hear your stories.
The best one will be published! (Suitability to family viewing taken into account)