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AFAC are growing and it’s good news for customers!

AFAC has undergone some changes over the past 12 months, starting with the retirement of Director Lee Mullins. Son Ryan has stepped into his shoes after 25 years of supporting his father and learning the ropes.  AFAC is the end to end silicone rubber specialist and specialist rubber manufacturing.

Ryan brings a fresh approach and the enthusiasm to build further on his father’s years at the forefront.

So what does this mean to you?

On March the 1st, the full operation comes under 1 roof with a brand new custom built warehouse facility with additional staff to help support the growing and changing needs of our customers.

This means even more flexibility in service, product and provision with:-

  • Extended last order hours for next day delivery*
  • Collections available 6 days a week
  • Lower minimum order quantities
  • Reseller starter boxes
  • Selection packs
  • Over 1 million products in stock
  • Convenient location between the M1 and A1

Our bespoke facility enables us to customise orders, big and small whilst also speeding up turnaround times. Product ranges are already developing and expanding to meet the growing needs of the individuals. Be this health & safety officers, schools, researchers or specialist manufacturers.

Possibly our most exciting development is the addition of an in-house product designer who brings with him years of experience along with a 21st century approach to design and technology. The benefits of a custom design include:

  • Increased lifespan due to fit for purpose design and decreased wear and tear
  • Lower end product wastage
  • Improved labour efficiency and speed
  • Reduction in bottom line costs

In fact it’s something we do for customers all over the world already.

With over 35 years experience AFAC is the owner managed business you can rely on.

I’m sure you will agree it’s a very exciting time here at AFAC! With great strides however comes the inevitable disruption and we ask all our customers to bear with us through the move. Service continues as normal but there may be a bit of a delay in response times as we take extra care to make sure everything is in place and working efficiently.

And in the run up? Our biggest sale in history! See our promotion for details.

You will find out new facility at Unit 2 Caxton Road, Bedford MK41 0HT

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What is Silicone Rubber

What is Silicone Rubber and what is it used for?


What is silicone rubber?

Silicone Rubber is a high performance inorganic elastomer. Its characteristics mechanically and chemically are unmatched by organic elastomers.

The unique properties of silicone rubber make it a top choice for an enormous variety of applications in industrial and consumer markets From mobile phone covers to industrial powder coating ovens, silicone rubber has is used for producing huge quantities of product.

Properties of silicone rubber

Silicone rubber can withstand extremes of temperature and is extremely flexible. It can be moulded or extruded and is transparent in its natural state. It can be dyed solid colours and mixes of colour.

Types of silicone rubber

Industrial Grade

By far the most common type of silicone rubber, industrial grade silicone rubber is commonly available and suits any industrial application not involving food or laboratory environments.


More commonly used for consumer applications, food grade silicone is safe for all applications where contact with the mouth, food or children may be a consideration. It’s more costly than industrial grade silicone rubber.


Medical grade silicone rubber is produced for laboratory and “cleanroom” environments. The most costly of the 3 types listed, medical grade components are supplied free of any dust or swarf produced as a bi-product of the manufacturing process. Curing is slightly different with Medical grade silicone rubber too leading to increased cost.


Benefits of silicone rubber


  • Silicone rubber lasts longer in more extreme conditions
  • Weather has little effect — Silicone rubber stands up to the environment whatever the conditions, sun, snow, rain, it maintains its properties
    • The environment can affect organic elastomers causing them to deteriorate performance
  • Withstands extremes of temperature — from -100 to 316ºC (-148 to 600ºF)
    • Deterioration is caused at lower temperatures with organic elastomers >100ºC (>212ºF); performance can also be hindered by rigidity <-25ºC (<-13ºF)
  • You have plenty of choices
    • Broad hardness range (from 10 to 80 Shore A),
    • Useful range of color choices (from transparent to brightly colored)
  • Improves performance of seals and fittings
  • High performance electrical insulation characteristics.
    • Relatively unchanged with exposure to harsher conditions (heat, cold, moisture, oil, ozone, UV rays)
  • Remains flexible and resilient across a broader temperature scale
  • Improves the way consumer goods look and feel
  • Inert (no taste or smell); many food-contact options


Is Silicone Rubber the material for you?  Call us on 0845 094 0993 to speak to one of our experts today or click here to find out more.


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UK Inventors of the BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber Powder Coating Plug

Inventing the BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber Powder Coating Plug

It may be a cliché that need is the mother of invention but, in the case of the Bakewell Silicone Rubber Powder Coating Plug, it’s certainly true. As powder coating took over from wet paint spraying in the early 80s, a new need was identified. AFAC, or Applied Fastenings and Components as the company was then known, devised the perfect solution – The Bakewell SIlicone Rubber Powder Coating Plug—and it’s still selling strongly to this day!

Back then, the company’s business mainstay was supplying fasteners to sheet metal workers. If a customer required a female thread, either a weld nut, rivet bush or self-clinching nut would be supplied. Once assembled, these solutions provided a far stronger captive thread than simply tapping a hole through the sheet metal.

Happy clients all round? Well, no! There was still an issue. Sheet metal components tend to need protection from oxidization. In other words, they are painted, plated or given an electro-static powder coating. The problem with this is that exposed threads can become contaminated by the coating process, leaving them unfit for purpose when it comes to the final assembly.

AFAC had already solved this problem with regard to male threaded studs, so it was natural we should start casting around for a way of protecting the female threads. The existing solution of using PVC tapered plugs was fine for wet painting—but they couldn’t take the heat generated during powder coating. Diligent research suggested there was a material that would be just perfect for the job—silicone rubber. Able to withstand temperatures of up to 315°C while remaining flexible, it made the perfect solution for thread masking.

Careful thought went into the design of the new plug. Tapered in shape, it had a cylindrical head for easy handling. It was trialled in a range of sizes to ensure it sealed the thread, while leaving approximately one third of the plug out of the hole. This allowed electro-static attraction to draw the powder under the cylindrical head to cover the component right to the very edge of the hole. With generous help from a local powder coater, the new plug was tested and declared a success!

The Bakewell Silicone Rubber powder coating Plug has now been in production for over 30 years, in a range of colour coded sizes, and it continues to be an invaluable masking tool for all powder-coating operations. It’s the original hole-masking solution—devised and designed by AFAC!


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Solving customer problems with bespoke design and production of silicone rubber mouldings.

The Problem

When one of our customers, manufacturing parts for a military vehicle, had a masking problem, they called on A.F.A.C.’s technical team to help them out. The problem they had was with a bracket that supported military radio equipment. Continue reading Solving customer problems with bespoke design and production of silicone rubber mouldings.

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Exporting Silicone Rubber products around the World.

At A.F.A.C. Ltd, as well as meeting our U.K. customers’ requirements, we also supply overseas users and distributors with our masking products and custom mouldings. Currently we have customers in Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East, all of whom deal with us because they know they will receive a reliable personal service at competitive prices. Continue reading Exporting Silicone Rubber products around the World.