What You Need to Know When Buying Grommet
Grommets may be tiny components; but when they fail, they can have a big impact on certain parts of your car. Since it is generally used for protection, once broken, a grommet will leave whatever it is protecting defenseless. Which is why stocking up on this is a good idea; but just before you start buying each and every grommet you see, knowing what it is and how you can utilize it can help curb your grommet-shopping impulses.
- Protecting Leather or Fabric
Materials like leather or fabric are considered tough, yet they are still prone to wear and tear once you cut holes through them. Enter grommets, which are used to protect the holes from stretching. Usually plastic or rubber protects the inside edges of the holes, especially if there will be wires or cords passing through the holes that can constantly rub.
It is not necessary to buy grommets that can withstand high heat when protecting leather or fabric for your car's upholstery.
- Protecting Wires, Fuel Lines, and Cables
Meanwhile, grommets can also be used to protect anything passing through materials with sharp inside edges like sheet metal. Fuel lines, cables, and electric wires are all susceptible to being torn when they constantly rub against the sharp edges, which could cause serious safety risks.
The kind of grommet material you should have would vary on where you'll need it. If the grommet must be resistant to the high heat and petroleum products effects, then your grommets should be made from these materials:
- Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR): Commonly used kind of grommet material that resists petroleum products and tolerates temperatures in the -54 to 121 degrees Celsius range
- Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (HNBR): Adding a hydrogenation process to NBR gives you this kind of rubber grommet. Because of the hydrogen, ozone and temperature extremes are resisted. HNBR is most ideal for use near the fuel systems.
- Polyacrylate (ACM): This material is also resistant to petroleum products and high temperatures that can range from -51 and 149 degrees Celsius. ACM is mostly used in the transmission and steering systems of your car.
- Ethylene Acrylic (AEM): AEM is also used a lot in the steering and transmission systems. Like ACM, this material resists petroleum products, aside from transmission fluids.
However, if the grommets will not be exposed to petroleum products, then grommets made from materials like these could be used instead:
- Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM): Flexible in low temperatures but resistant to weathering, EPDM grommets are used commonly in brake and cooling systems.
- Styrene-Butadiene (SBR): Because of their similarities with natural rubber, grommets made of SBR are resistant to water and brake fluid. This material is generally used for cars' hydraulic brake systems and tires.
The good thing about grommets is that they are very inexpensive and easily available. If you see any grommet of yours showing signs of wear, do not hesitate and immediately replace it. Aside from knowing what materials you should look out for, refer to the manual to determine what size of grommets you'll need.