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Types of Flanges

Businesses in a variety of industries rely on flanges to join pipes or components together or to keep equipment secured to a surface. When it comes to choosing the best types of flange for your processes, you’ll want to take the time to research the different options...

Threaded Flange

Threaded flanges are probably the most recognisable of all flanges due to their screw thread design that is used to connect it to the pipe. Threaded flanges, also known as screwed flanges (for obvious reasons), require a male and female thread to create a connection...

Slip On Flange

A slip-on flange can also be known as a hubbed flange, which, as the name suggests, has a hub with a very low profile. Why is this important? Because this type of ring type joint gasket has an internal diameter larger than the connecting pipe, allowing you to slide it...

Weld Neck Flange

Also known as tapered hub flanges or high hub flanges, weld neck flanges are a specific type of gasket with a protruding ridge and long neck used to connect pipework and provide you with a high-quality seal. Weld neck flanges, in particular, are a popular choice when...

Nitrile vs Viton® – What is the Difference?

As you start to make a decision about what type of O-rings to purchase for your business, you might wonder what material is the most suitable for your unique needs. Every business operation has different requirements for their O-rings, such as the temperature,...

Aflas vs Viton

When it comes to choosing O ring suppliers in the UK, you’ll find that there are a wide range of materials on offer for you to choose from. Many people find that the options can seem quite overwhelming, with some materials having similar properties but offering...

EPDM Gasket

Both the automotive and construction industries have started to use EPDM gaskets more frequently in recent times. This rubber material is UV light resistant and has many fantastic properties that make this part highly effective for a wide range of processes. Keep...

Metal Gaskets

When comparing gaskets for use within your business processes, you’ll find that these can be made from a variety of materials. Metal gaskets are a very popular option, offering many advantages over other materials. When looking at sealing product options, make sure...

AFLAS o ring

O rings come in many different dimensions, thicknesses, and materials. And it is the various different materials that o rings can be manufactured from that make each o ring unique and suitable for specific applications. In fact, there are hundreds of different types...

O Ring Vulcanization Process

With years of o ring knowledge and experience in o ring vulcanization, we're one of the leading experts in providing the right sealing solution for you. To view our full range, visit our O-ring product page, with a wide selection and something to match every...

See our latest catalogue for all the services we offer.

Finding the best sealing materials for Food Grade Applications

FInding the best sealing materials for Food Grade ApplicationsYou will find rubber seals across various industries, providing an important element and operating as a vital fixing across a wide range of different applications and equipment. 

However, these FDA gaskets must follow strict, set guidelines, in terms of their material makeup and their use in specific applications. 

This is indeed the case for all food-grade applications, which ultimately state that all rubber seals used in these sectors and industries must be FDA approved. 

FDA grade gaskets mean they must follow a strict set of guidelines and FDA regulations, be non-toxic, and follow chemical compatibility guidelines. 

Rigorous testing on FDA approved gaskets is carried out for them to meet the demands of all food processing applications. 

In this post, we look at the best sealing materials for food-grade applications and things you should specifically consider when looking for the best FDA seals and gaskets. 

FDA Rubber Material – able to handle even the toughest of environments 

Within the food industry, seals, and sealing and containing food in a first-class, high-quality condition, is essential. 

Seal failure in the food and beverage industry can result in foods and products becoming spoiled, costing companies considerable time and money. 

This is why rubber seals and the rubber materials used in food applications need to be: 

  • Odourless 
  • Resistant to a build-up of bacteria 
  • Non-allergenic 
  • Tasteless 
  • Compatible with all chemicals used in the application 
  • Able to withstand a variety of temperatures 
  • Non-toxic 

Not all rubber materials offer the same solutions 

Not all rubber seals are made using the same materials, which in turn creates a range of rubber seals available with a variety of capabilities. 

Due to the nature of food applications, you need the right seal and the material for the job. 

The most popular FDA approved rubber seals, chosen for the food-grade application industry, meeting exact requirements to ensure purity, include: 

Nitrile

Extremely resistant to water, Nitrile seals are also resistant to silicone grease, petroleum-based oils and fuels, and hydraulic fuels and alcohol.  Nitrile seals are a great solution for those in the food and beverage sector as these seals can also provide a low compression set, they have a high resistance to abrasion, and they offer a high level of strength. 

Nitrile is one of the most established seals. 

PTFE 

These seals are often found in food mixers, pumps, valves, flanged joints, piping, and more.  This is because PTFE seals can resist chemical attacks, and they operate well under a range of fluctuating temperatures. 

These FDA flange gaskets are ideal for sealing those non-metallic flanges and used in applications where bolt loads are limited. 

Silicone 

Silicone seals or FDA Elastomeric seals are suitable for a wide range of fluctuating temperatures for elastomers providing the very best in chemical resistance. 

FDA approved, some silicone material seals can prevent the growth of e-Coli, MRSA, and salmonella – making it a highly suitable sealing material that can be vital in food applications. 

What’s more, silicone is non-toxic, offers low chemical reactivity, and thermal stability making it a popular choice for food and medical manufacturers. 

Silicone seals also provide an extended service life, and they have one of the broadest operating temperature ranges, with food-grade silicone ensuring foreign substances do not contaminate any foods. 

EPDM 

EPDM material seals provide the elements of odourless and tasteless, while also offering flexibility, resistance to solvents and acids, and these seals work well in more reliable temperature ranges. 

FKM 

Ideal if you require a rubber seal that can handle higher processing temperatures for longer exposure time.  

Found in mechanical devices that demand optimum resistance to high temperatures and liquids, these Viton material gaskets can resist thousands of different chemicals, offer stability, can withstand high temperatures, and provide low outgassing in vacuum-sealing applications. 

Helping to reduce downtime, with FKM seals, there is also very low extraction, reducing the chance of food contamination.  Great for those more dynamic applications.

Find Out More Here!

Challenges of seal choice for food applications 

Health and Safety – all sealing materials must meet strict health and safety guidelines and standards before they can be used in food applications.  

Seals must be stable and neutral – this relates to the guideline that ensures seals are tasteless and odourless, helping to ensure nothing untoward comes into contact with food ingredients or products.  To achieve this, these seals and gaskets must be stable, not releasing any unwanted contaminants into the product stream. 

Processing conditions – food processes and procedures range and vary considerably.  Ranging from varying temperatures and pressures etc.  In this sense, seals need to be able to handle these variations, including cleanability. 

Cleanability – is a big challenge in food applications.  Food applications and equipment need to be cleaned regularly using strong chemical disinfectants, steam, etc.  Because of this, sealing materials need to be compatible with supporting these regimes. 

Specialist Sealing Products can provide a range of seals and gaskets for food applications in a range of materials, and our team is on hand to help find the right solution to your application. 

There is a range of FDA grade seals available in the market, and it’s important to find the right one for your application. 

Purchasing industrial sealings from a reputable supplier, ensuring that all seals are FDA compliant, is the first start. 

To find out more, call us on 01535 274 776.

Read the next article: Gaskets and seals for Aerospace

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