Rubber grommets are somewhat unsung heroes. These unassuming and small devices might go unnoticed by most, but they’re essential devices that are used throughout a wide range of industries. So what exactly is a rubber grommet, and how do they work? In this article, we’ll explore the nature and purpose of these little tools and look at how they’ve been designed to fulfil their purpose.
Whether you’re a tradesman, have an interest in DIY, or you’re simply curious about what they do, this article will help expand your knowledge of these small yet indispensable devices. Everything you need to know, including what they’re used for and the different types of grommets you can find, read on to find out.
What is a Rubber Grommet?
Rubber grommets are used to plug holes and manage cables. They’re found everywhere, but what are they exactly? Well, a rubber grommet is typically made out of rubber, no surprises there. The shape and size of the grommet will depend on what type of grommet is being used. Typically, there are three main types:
- Circular/oval grommets – A circular or oval grommet is round in shape and used to fill holes in the material. They also have a small hole in the centre, which can be used to pass cables or wires through. This makes them ideal for cable management and preventing wires from getting damaged by the rough edges of a drilled hole. In addition, they look a lot tidier and will typically snap into place thanks to the design of their edges.
- Grommet strips – Not every grommet is circular, as some can also be longer strips. These are typically applied to the edge of a surface, particularly for materials that are rough or sharp. These strips are available in different sizes, but it’s also relatively easy to cut them to size. You can stick them on with adhesives or use strips that are activated by heat.
- Blind grommets – These share a lot of similarities to the standard circular grommets, and at first glance, they may appear to be the same. However, the difference is that blind grommets don’t have a hole in the centre. This means that they’re better for plugging the gap in a hole and preventing dust and dirt from getting through. While you normally won’t be able to thread cables through, some blind grommets do have a small hole which allows a thin wire while still keeping out dust.
Choosing the Right Grommet
Because there are three different types of grommets and many different sizes, you need to consider what you need the grommet for before you choose. Think about the type of material that you’re covering, whether you’re plugging a hole and if there’s a wire or cable that you need to thread through.
Each type of grommet offers a different use, although they’re all incredibly versatile. The size of the grommet you choose will also depend on the size of the hole or the surface that you’re trying to cover. Make sure you measure the hole carefully. Although grommets are pliable, if the hole is too big or small, it won’t fit correctly. Most grommet sizes are given in millimetres.
Finally, you should also think about the material used. While rubber grommets are made of rubber, you can also find grommets made from nylon or PVC. The type of material used will affect its properties, with rubber usually being the most heat resistant. Consider these carefully and think about where the grommet will be used.
Grommets are incredibly useful little devices that are ideal for a variety of different purposes. From functional to aesthetic reasons, you can use grommets to tidy up surfaces, plug holes and keep cables and wires safe and secure.