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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.

Protecting your seals

Protecting your sealsDust 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 to cylinder walls, dust can also cause significant damage and disruption to rods and seals. 

It’s not just dust either; mud, debris, dirt, and even excess water can cause severe mechanical systems problems if they aren’t properly maintained and seal bearings housed. 

Problems such as friction, surface wear, and an imperfect seal contact can all occur. 

This is why many different types of applications need to stay clean both on the outside and inside.  Equipment like hydraulic cylinders, snow ploughs, seals in logging, earthmovers, etc. 

Top tips to keep systems and machinery dust-free 

For seals and bearings and protecting them from the elements, we have various components at our disposal to help keep dust and dirt at bay. 

The three main components which we’ll be talking about below all attach to the exterior side of the main seal in the system, and the component you require will depend on what you’re protecting your machinery from. 

For example: 

Wipers – used across lighter applications to seal fine material, dust, water, and wet mud.   Wipers are made from rubber (a firm elastomer) or soft plastic and are ideal if you’re looking for easy assembly and low friction. 

Scrapers – used for more aggressive applications, sealing out hard, solid debris such as ice and dry mud. Scrapers are manufactured from hard plastic or, most commonly, brass.  Unfortunately, scrapers still let finer material slip through the net, and piston and rod lubrication leakage can still occur, attracting further dust. 

Excluders – these tend to be the middle ground between wipers and scrapers regarding the level of protection they provide.  Sealing out medium level materials, excluders are most commonly found in hydraulic cylinders and can help prevent contamination due to their prolonged seal life.   Excluders are great for more rugged applications i.e., keeping mud out of brake cylinders, for example. 

Note:  Excluders can also be combined within the pneumatic cylinders’ inner seal, helping to provide a quality fit and low friction. 

Scrapers, wipers, and excluders come in all shapes and sizes depending on your requirements – make sure to speak to one of the expert team at SSP to find out more. 

Dust seals for bearings 

To help keep your bearings clean within applications, you firstly need to keep the surrounding environment clean. 

You then need to choose the best shaft seal and shaft configuration to protect bearings from dust and moisture ingress (shaft seals help close the gap between the housing where your bearing is contained and the shaft).  Rubber seals are the most common and durable in this respect. 

However, rubber or labyrinth seals will work well in dusty environments. 

Labyrinth seals do require a straight shaft, whereas rubber seals allow for more flexibility. 

If dust is a big contamination problem, the seal shaft arrangement may need to be redesigned to increase the level of protection. 

Solutions in these instances include: 

  • Parallel configuration for seals and combination seals 
  • The use of wiping devices that are spring-loaded. 
  • Installing a stuffing box in the gap between the housing and the end of the equipment. 
  • Using a felt seal throughout the equipment and the housing, cleaning the shaft via brushing. 
  • Creating a barrier by greasing the two seals, flushing out any past seals. 
  • Fitting mechanical seals, or auxiliary seals, as these seals can come into contact with the dust and water first. 

A point to note: It is essential that the assembly of the bearings and the housing is 100% clean because even with all of the best external protection bearings will still suffer premature failure if the bearing is contaminated at the assembly stage. 

Find Out More Here!

A note about Breathers 

Breathers found on housings will allow some dust and moisture to get inside the bearing, adding to its premature failure. 

To avoid such situations, you could opt to replace breathers with air filters that are low micron, as these remove dust particles up to two microns and greater in size. 

Our team is on hand at Specialist Sealing Products to help you with all of your gaskets and sealing equipment and products. 

Call us today on 01535 274 776 or visit our website and see how we can help you. 

Read the next blog: Plastic gaskets, the best alternative to metal

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