Trelleborg Sealing Solutions went to great lengths—literally—to show the capabilities of its proprietary FlexiMold technology for the production of seamless O-rings: It set a new world record by producing an O-ring measuring 364 meters (almost 400 yards) in circumference. A community-based project organized by Trelleborg’s facility in Tewkesbury, England, with the participation of Tewkesbury School students, the elastomer O-ring was ceremoniously laid around the medieval Tewkesbury Abbey today in the presence of the borough mayor, an adjudicator from Guinness World Records, employees from the Trelleborg facility, the pupils that had been involved in the project (along with their teachers and parents), and other folks from the community.
|It took a village to set the Guinness record for the world's largest O-ring. Gathered in front of Tewkesbury Abbey are staffmembers from Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in Tewkesbury, UK; students from the local school; and teachers and public officials.|
To set the world record for the largest O-ring ever produced, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions teamed up with 20 students pursuing a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in engineering at Tewkesbury School. Over a summer school term, the students were coached in various manufacturing disciplines and were involved in the design, costing and production planning of the O-ring.
The O-ring was manufactured using proprietary FlexiMold technology, which allows the production of high-quality, giant, seamless O-rings, said Trelleborg. It was rolled on a drum as a cord and transported to the abbey. Leading up to the ceremony, there had been much debate about how to place the O-ring around the abbey: Drones and, in a nod to the building’s history, catapults came up. A more practical solution bubbled to the surface: the O-ring was laid around the external circumference of the building, with the two ends being joined and sealed using a mobile vulcanizing unit.
The integrity of the O-ring was independently verified by elastomer consultancy Artis. Once this was done, the circumference of the O-Ring was measured by an industrial wire measuring machine adapted by the Walker Pritchard Partnership, a Chartered Surveyor local to the facility. The record was then confirmed by the adjudicator from the Guinness Book of Records.
“We are delighted to have been involved in this challenging project,” said Tony Collingwood, General Manager of the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions facility in Tewkesbury. “We’re an important employer in the area and we like to support our local community. This undertaking was not only a lot of fun, but a learning experience for the pupils at Tewkesbury School and our team here too! The students were very talented and contributed some great ideas. We hope to see them emerging as engineers of the future,” said Collingwood.