While rubber seals can assist with a variety of projects, one of the most common complaints about them is that they often deteriorate over time. While wear and tear is sometimes a reason for this, your seal may be deteriorating for other reasons that you have more control over. Today we’re going to share some of the top reasons for seal deterioration to help you avoid this issue to the best of your ability in the future. Our team will be on hand at any time to recommend the best rubber sealing products for any project to help stop issues during your work processes.
Exposure to Various Elements and Chemicals
One of the top reasons we see rubber deterioration is exposure to oxygen, heat, light or chemicals. This type of exposure is often unavoidable, but you can do all you can to minimise the issue. This causes physical and chemical changes to the rubber seal, which can lead to a breakdown of the material in the long run. When the chain of molecules starts to break down, it won’t be able to effectively do its job. Heat will shorten the molecule chains, which means the material stretches when it cools down. UV degradation is a term that’s used to describe a rubber seal that has been exposed to too much light. It might get hard and crack or the colour of the seal could fade. The expansion and contraction caused by the change in temperature leads to issues within the seal, which will mean it can’t do its job properly in the long run.
Oxygen is another element which causes issues with sealing. The oxygen will attack the double bonds located within the rubber chain, so that it deteriorates over time. All of these issues we’ve shared above will damage your rubber chain, meaning it doesn’t work so effectively over time. However, there are ways in which you can try to stop this from happening in the first place. By preparing the area you are working in and planning to stop heat, light, oxygen and chemicals getting in the way of the process, you can protect the seals for a longer time.
Top Tips to Prevent Issues with Seal Rubber Products
While rubber deterioration is a huge issue for businesses of all types using these seals, you’ll find there are ways you can stop this from being a problem for your business. When rubber is created, it will be analysed to see how well it will react to stress and strain. This means you receive a set of care instructions with any rubber product you purchase, based on the tests that took place before it was sold. We recommend you take the time to read the care instructions properly when you get your rubber seals. The incorrect use of these seals is one of the top reasons we see rubber break down over time. By following the guidelines correctly, you’ll find they last a lot longer.
When you first receive a set of rubber seals, make sure you have a space to store them safely. This area should be dry, dark, cool, and free from oxygen, which will help the seals to remain in perfect condition before they are used. You’ll find you only waste your money and resources when you don’t store seals properly, so this should be the first thing you set up in your working area before your seals arrive. You can save money by buying rubber seals in bulk, but this only works if you store them correctly.
When you are about to use your rubber seal, make sure you clean the surrounding area to remove any dirt, water, or debris. Scrub off anything that’s attached to the surface, as this will likely stick around and damage the rubber seal. We always recommend that you take the time to learn about the different seal options on offer to you, so that you choose one that’s right for your business applications. Follow the instructions to place the seal on correctly and use a conditioner for the seal to keep it in top condition.
Rubber seals are a very effective tool for a lot of different applications. However, when they aren’t cared for and stored properly, you are only wasting your time and money investing in this product. By following the tips we’ve shared above, you can be sure your seals will stay in perfect condition for longer than before. If you are looking to invest in a new set of rubber seals, contact our team today to learn more about the products we offer and how to care for our seals. We’ll be happy to advise you about the best options for your unique needs and answer any questions you have about the causes of rubber seal deterioration.
Read the next article: Rotary Shaft Seals