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Gasket Sealants

Fortunately, no one gasket suits a range of applications, but rather we have a multitude of gasket sealants available to meet various specifications and requirements.  Ultimately, sealants are used to effectively ensure gasket seals.  Helping to extend a gasket's life...

Types of industrial gasket material

Different industry sectors will use different types of gaskets and different types of gasket materials.   And of course!  Different industrial gasket materials will be much better suited to some industrial processes and applications compared to others.  As different...

Keeping a close eye on the gaskets your applications use

Gaskets are vital elements to any piping system and application that requires creating the perfect seal in order to prevent leaks.  This is the main role of a gasket, to provide a good seal, with some gasket materials sealing better than others in certain...

O Ring Colour Identification

O rings come in various colours, and it's important to understand what these colours indicate as the o rings you choose will affect your overall process application.  Ultimately, different o ring colours are used to help differentiate between different materials. ...

Spiral Wound Gasket Compressibility and Pressure Ratings

In order to form a reliable seal, spiral wound gaskets do require a certain degree of pressure.   The applied pressure allows the gasket to be compressed tightly between the mating surfaces preventing any leaks from occurring.  Factors such as operating temperature...

Elastomeric Compounds

What is elastomer?  Elastomeric compounds are rubber seals produced using natural rubbers or manufactured by the chemicals industry.  Elastomeric sealing compounds consist of between 50-60% rubber; the remainder of the compound consists of fillers,...

Is there such a thing as the right flange gasket?

We cannot stress enough how important gaskets and seals can be. Gaskets are vital for an application's reliability and integrity, and trust us when we say, choosing the right gasket now can help you avoid costly issues in the future.  Taking a closer look at pipe...

Plastic gaskets, the best alternative to metal

Plastic gaskets and seals are not that uncommon.  In fact, they’re used in many devices due to the longevity and functionality they offer.  Helping to prevent leaks and maintain temperature control, plastic gaskets help equipment and appliances operate to the best of...

Protecting your seals

Dust gets everywhere.  We see it across the surfaces of our homes and even in our workplaces, especially when the light shines through to show it in its full glory!  However, dust that seeps and builds up within engineering equipment can be disastrous.  Causing damage...

Importance of durometer testing

Durometer or shore durometer is a way for industry professionals to measure how hard such things as plastic, rubber, and non-metallic materials genuinely are.  Its focus is to measure on a Shore A or Shore D scale, looking at how robust material is when examining its...

Designing seals for the food industry

food industry sealingsThere’s a number of factors to take into consideration when designing seals for the food industry. That’s because seals used within this sector need to work exceptionally hard in all food processing environments where hygiene and health and safety are of the utmost importance. 

When designing, or indeed looking at the design of a seal for food applications, you must take into consideration: 

Operating conditions 

For example, what application is the seal intended for? Does it experience any movement? What is the makeup of the piece of equipment being sealed, etc.? 

You also need to consider the temperatures, speed, and pressure that the application will be operated at. As well as the maximum and minimum pressure levels, temperature, and speed. 

Knowing how the application will be operated will ensure that the correct seal is chosen and used. 

The fit of the seal 

Knowing how the application is to be assembled allows you to understand exactly where the seal will fit and its role within the appliance. Addressing any fitment issues from the start can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches in the long run. 

Where the seal will be housed 

Knowing where the seal will be housed is vital. 

For example, aluminium housing will require a different choice of material compared to that of stainless housing. 

Seals manufactured using PTFE materials need to be passivated when used with stainless steel, preventing stainless surfaces from pitting. 

Cleaning methods 

Within the food industry, cleaning is critical. A sterile environment is a must, and as such harsh and stringent cleaning methods will be used. Because of this, some seal materials may be eliminated, leading to replacements being required or seal gaskets in need of vital repair. 

Testing seals against cleaning solvents and methods need to be conducted in order to test the seal’s overall performance and robustness. 

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Movement 

Movement plays a big factor in seal design. For example, long or short strokes or even strokes and frequent strokes can lead to the seal becoming starved of lubrication, which will result in excessive wear and tear on the seal. This is known as a linear movement (back and forward). 

Alternatively, the mixed movement will require the seal to handle challenges linked to temperature fluctuations, extreme heat, as well as being able to function during the transition from one motion to another. 

If a rotating motion is in play, then the seal required needs to be able to create low friction, due to the issue of a build-up of heat in these applications. From a design perspective, heat dissipation away from the seal contact area should always be incorporated in order to reduce the heat gradient. 

Static movement is found in many food applications, and this requires no voids to be present in order to avoid bacteria from growing and spreading. For these types of applications, specialist seals need to be designed to bulge, reducing the need for welding joints. 

Stationary stability needs to be considered as it is known that many foodstuffs can solidify if they remain stationary for a period of time. For example, solids like sugar can have a negative effect on many seal materials, and seal designs must bear this in mind. 

Seals must be compliant 

Food hygiene and quality are of high importance, and seals should be FDA approved and compliant at all times. If providing applications outside of the UK, you also need to consider the European Commission food regulations and Good Working Practices. 

Ultimately seals that are designed for the food industry should demonstrate a broad chemical compatibility profile, be resistant to high temperatures and abrasions, and have the ability to withstand aggressive cleaning methods. 

To ensure the seals that you are using are designed to be FDA compliant, safe, and effective, speak to Specialist Sealing Products today. 

The sealing experts in Leeds. 

Read the next article: Gasket manufacturing explained 

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