How to Select Rubber Seals and Gaskets for Your Application?

Leakage of fluids such as liquids and gases is one of the main concerns across industries, where they are used as a part of different industrial processes. To avoid this, manufacturers rely on different types of rubber seals and gaskets in equipment responsible for the transmission of these fluids. Thus, nowadays, rubber seals have become an integral part of valves, pumps, pipe fittings, as well as vacuum seals. Does that mean all rubber seals are the same? No, they are not created the same. They differ in designs, materials, and other specifications, too. Thus, several factors must be kept in mind while designing the seals for your industrial applications. The post outlines a few important factors to be considered during the construction of rubber seals and gaskets.

How to Select Rubber Seals and Gaskets for Your Application?

Important Things to Consider When Designing Rubber Seals and Gaskets
Failure of a rubber seal or gasket may affect the performance of an application. This means you cannot afford to make the wrong choices, isn’t it? The following pointers will help you make the right decision regarding these seals:

  • Environment of Use: Perhaps, you may agree that frequent gasket replacement can be time-consuming or frustrating, too. To avoid this, it is important to consider the environment where they are supposed to be installed. There are several limitations on materials across industries such as military, food and pharmaceutical. The consideration of the following will help you better:
    • Compatibility with the chemicals to be used
    • The effect of pressure and temperature on the seals
    • The effect of friction as it can cause excessive pressures to develop and tear the seal portion
    • Tolerance stack up of different parts of the seal
  • Dimensional Requirements: What is a right sealing? How does it occur? A sealing occurs when the seal is compressed between two surfaces. The compression causes deformation, which helps prevent the leakage of fluid. To achieve this deformation or proper compression, the cross-section of the seal must be larger than its gland depth. If the cross-section is too small or too large, the seal may not compress properly or disrupt the connection between the two mating surfaces.
  • Consider the Adhesive Attachment System: Always ensure that the attachment surface is 1/8ʺ wider. The adhesive must be placed on flat surfaces of the substrate and the seal. The thickness of the adhesive must be taken into consideration when designing the rubber seal for your application.
  • Total Amount of Load Applied: What is the direction of the load applied? The results can be disappointing if the load applied is more or less than the specified. The total amount of load applied can be easily controlled by managing the shape of the cross-section, or by adding hollow sections or holes in the cross-section.
  • Closing Force Required: What is the required closing force for an application? How much closing force will be tolerated by the application? If the seal is designed for tolerating 20 pounds of force at the maximum, it is not suited for an application where it may be subjected to 50 pounds of force. Along with this, you also need to consider the force needed on the seal, surface area, and size of the cross-section.
  • Type of Friction to be Endured: When it comes to dynamic moving applications, the friction is mainly distinguished into two types— breakout friction and running friction. The breakout friction can cause high pressures to develop if the part movement is intermittent. However, running friction can cause the heat to build up, which may lead to swelling. In both cases, the friction can cause seal failure.

The consideration of all these factors will help you achieve optimum sealing performance. However, if you are unable to make a decision, it is always ideal to approach an experienced manufacturer like SSP Seals, who will help you get it right. The company has been providing rubber gaskets and seals in various specifications to meet complex application requirements.

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