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How choosing the correct gasket reduces risks

Health and Safety across any industry are vital, especially so in industrial facilities and settings.  Why?  Because harmful leaks and emissions must be avoided at all costs to avoid serious accidents or injury to your teams and property.  That’s why having the right...

How to tighten your bolts perfectly

How to tighten your bolts and which tools you should use to achieve the perfect seal is not as seamless and straightforward as we would like. Various factors come into play in these situations, such as bolt grade, size, and even application type.  Tightening torques...

Static and Dynamic o rings

A range of factors and application dynamics come into play when choosing a particular type of o ring.  You need to understand the type of seal exert you require, the dimensions, and even compounds.  Due to the nature of an o ring and its overall design, o rings use...

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...

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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