Metal detectable o rings became a necessary must when it was identified that some chemicals, exposure to extreme temperatures, and continuous vibrations could cause failings in standard o rings.
Failings that not only mean a breaking of the seal, but there is also an increased risk of contamination seeping into the systems.
Hence, detectable metal O-rings vastly became vital to the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries.
Detectable O-ring definition
Designed to perform in a similar way to elastomer o rings, metal detectable o rings have a good tolerance to fluctuating temperatures. They’re resistant to corrosive chemicals and can handle mechanical stress.
These types of O-rings are also available in a range of colours and materials to suit a variety of requirements.
Metal detectable O-rings are manufactured using fillers and additives, compared to standard o rings whose make up is entirely made up of elastomeric materials. Hence why metal o rings can be detected through x-ray machines and metal detectors.
Unlike their rubber o ring counterparts, if disintegration occurs on a metal o ring, it can still be easily identified by these metal detectors and x-ray machines, with magnets helping to remove any small fragments before heading too far down the production line and causing serious issues.
Fragments as small as 2mm can be detected and removed, providing manufacturers with peace of mind that products remain safe, and they remain FDA compliant.
Materials of metal detectable o rings include Nitrile, Viton, Fluoroelastomer, Silicone, and rubber, all of which can be used in standard OEM equipment.
Wear and tear are a common problem
A standard elastomer with a metal impregnated compound means that if there are failings and the o ring does erode or snap; it can be located much easier with x-ray machines and removed before reaching the final part of processing – the final product.
The main features of these metal compounds are that they can be used in standard OEM equipment and they are available in valve stems, screens, hygienic seals, sheets, and more!
O ring suppliers, Leeds
Developed to meet the increasing demand for product safety in the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industry, metal detectable o rings must meet a range of challenges. These include their suitability for fluctuating chemical and temperature situations and appliances, as well as meeting the range of cleanliness and regulatory challenges.
In this sense, metal, detectable o rings can tick all of the boxes.
Over time, rubber o rings will degrade, and as a result, there is a higher chance of contamination with the products, as it can be almost impossible to detect. This is because when rubber o rings fail, particles of rubber can shear off and migrate through the processing systems and procedures, eventually entering the products themselves.
When this happens, entire production lines must stop, and inspections must be carried out to identify the problem’s source.
This means a loss in production, downtime, lost revenue, and even potential product recalls for businesses.
Production lines don’t suffer the same consequences with metal detectable o rings.
If metal detectable o rings fail, they can be detected much sooner in the process than rubber seals, with production lines immediately coming to a stop and the contaminated product quickly removed, decreasing the chances of the polymer finding its way into any final products.
This provides confidence to the food and beverage and the pharmaceutical sectors and can also cut down on a lot of expense and lost time.
It also ensures integrity as contaminants can be easily identified through careful scanning and voids.
Benefits of metal detectable o rings
- Easy to detect lost fragments – so you don’t have to stop entire production lines, suffering a loss in time!
- Can prevent a product recall – avoiding damage to your reputation and your products.
- Reduces product loss – this can be costly and something everyone wants to avoid at all costs.
- Stops distribution of contaminated products – keeps everything contained and keeps businesses FDA compliant at all times.
- Suitable for microbial, high temperature, and mechanical applications.
Best o ring suppliers in Leeds
At Specialist Sealing Products, we provide a full range of metal detectable o rings. As one of Leeds’ main o ring suppliers, we also offer a range of seals and o rings in various materials, from Nitrile, Silicone, FKM, and EPDM.
For more information related to o rings and seals or to request a quote, call 01535 274 776.
Read the next article: Importance of durometer testing