Where It All Began
Silflex has grown from the base provided by the original company, Vale Polymers, which held an enviable reputation from its wholehearted service to customers both large and small. In January 1991, Vale Polymers joined the Birmingham based Currie & Warner Group, a major force in the manufacture of brass turned parts, flexible steel tubing and gas appliance connector hose.
With the combination of Silflex’s technical expertise and experience together with the financial and management resources available within the Currie & Warner Group, Silflex has been able to undertake a programme of investment in new facilities and techniques, enabling it to keep in the forefront of development to meet the increasingly rigorous demands of the silicone hose market.
Silflex’s headquarters and main manufacturing plant is based in South Wales. The multi-million pound, purpose built factory, a true monument of the company's progression has enabled the company to rapidly grow, increasing manpower, and also holds huge potential for future development, enabling the company to cope with any future expansions.
The Silflex plant houses a purpose built laboratory with almost all of the testing equipment purpose built to Silflex's exacting standards. Testing in-house allows us to lower costs and simulate operation whilst recording and monitoring the hoses dynamic performance in a controlled environment. Reproducing the operating conditions in this way enables us to monitor, test and record the effect of operation has on the hose. This test data is vital in ensuring optimum performance and quality and is why Silflex has such a high reputation for delivering the best. Collated data enables us to ensure appropriate design steps are made when developing a part with highly dynamic operation limits.
Our test facilities also offer potential for new material development and comparative testing. These developments allow us to test and evaluate new materials and make comparisons with existing materials performance. This is essential to ensure new parts being released into the market place have enhanced operating windows and have the required endurance to complete appropriate operation intervals.
Due to the specialist nature of the business the majority of the test equipment is purpose built to exacting specifications identified by Silflex Ltd. The test equipment are required to model operation at an accelerated rate to identify fatigue failures as well as define catastrophic part limitations.
Test routines include:-
Cold Air, Hot Air, Hot Water, Dynamometer Testing, High Speed Vibration, Wear Analysis, Burst Testing, Pressure Profiling, Vacuum Testing, Tensile Testing, Leak Testing & Pressure Pulse Dilation analysis.
Many of these applications can be integrated to offer a more dynamic test routine to mimic operation and identify possible areas for further enhancement.
Silflex have one of the most comprehensive research facilities orientated specifically to testing, evaluating and the development of silicone hose in the industry.
As laboratory simulations can not always produce the exact operating environment we also carry out field testing if operation parameters are unknown we have the facilities to test parts in operation.
Silflex use only the highest quality silicone in the manufacture of our hoses to ensure dependability and longevity of the products we produce. The basic physical stability of silicone rubber is the result of its unique molecular backbone structure of alternating silicone and oxygen atoms, creating a synthetic elastomer. With the addition of a variety of reinforcing fabrics, our specialist engineers are offered an almost infinite range of design possibilities, coupled with our unique build process it is perfect for complex constructions.
Silicone rubber has a wealth of attributes which make it the ideal choice for hose applications in today’s automobile industry.
Silflex Silicone hoses can be designed for temperatures of between -50°C to +305°C by correct choice of the silicone and fabric used.
Adjustment in fabric layers and thickness can be made to provide the optimum design for each application including wire reinforced hoses for negative pressures.
Silicone has a high resistance to atmospheric oxygen, ozone, water, sunlight, ultraviolet radiation and also has high electrical insulation properties.
A rapid procedure with low cost tooling. Our unique manufacturing methods allow us to make custom designed hoses, including one piece assemblies limiting possible joint failure and therefore leak possibilities, whilst improving flow. Inserts and branches can also be designed into hoses.
BSI Approved Manufacturing
Silflex recognise that quality is the cornerstone of continued excellence and customer satisfaction. With an in-house state-of-the-art testing facility, Silflex is able to provide high quality, performance products capable of withstanding extremes of temperature and vibration. Operating to the standards set by BS EN ISO 9001: 2008, Silflex also ensures that uncompromising quality is maintained throughout each process; from raw product to finished hose, meeting and exceeding customer expectations is paramount.
Research & Development
Due to a continued investment and drive by Silflex to ensure state-of-the-art research facilities on site and engineers and technicians with dedicated roles of development, we are able to evaluate new materials and enhance hose operation to meet specific customer requirements. Our service to the customer is designed to provide solutions as well as manufacture existing product at a very high standard. Our development work involves rigorous testing in demanding applications and is why we test in the field by applying the hose to the application it is being designed for, pushing the operating windows and developing much needed feed back on the hose properties.
As we are one of the few Silicone hose manufacturers that put such emphasise on development we have the resources at hand to react rapidly. Silflex is proud of its reputation for rapid response from design to delivery without compromising on quality.
Hoses manufactured within the Silflex facility are also their branded performance hose Samco Sport which with its close ties to motor racing, rally, truck racing and all other forms of motorsport give an unrivalled feedback on the parameter of performance that can be achieved with reinforced silicone hose.
Silflex can also add specialist liners to the hoses to make them suitable for oil and fuel applications. These liners can be used with all Silflex hose ranges including standard parts, turbocharger / CAC and custom made pieces.
Fluorosilicone (FVMQ) Liner
Suitable for hostile environments where oil, chemicals or low temperatures are present.
Suitable for fuel and oil use.
Silgiene® (VMQ) Liner
A sterile liner used in food applications and suitable for hydrogen fuel type applications. USP Class IV approved.
High temperature, fire retardant silicone to BS 6853. Food & Drug and Water Council approved materials are also available.