You’re all smiles as you prepare to purchase a sealing device for your business. Then it suddenly dawns on you that the sealing options available out there are way too many, instantly putting you in a dilemma of sorts.
If that’s your situation, worry not because we’ve compiled this post with you in mind. Here are four actionable tips for choosing the right sealing device for your industry.
1. Consider Your Temperature Requirements
Temperature is an important consideration when selecting a sealing device because it can change the characteristics of the material. High heat or extreme cold can alter the sealing properties of a device — or worse — reduce its overall performance.
Keep in mind that the higher your application temperatures, the harder it is to find a suitable sealing material. Rubber seals, for instance, are easy to find, but their availability comes at a price. To put it simply, they are not designed for high-heat environments and typically disintegrate upon extended exposure.
So, if you’re operating in a high-heat environment, you might want to consider options like Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) or Fluorocarbon (Viton). For instance, fluorocarbon o-rings can maintain their integrity in temperatures of up to +446°F. They can also resist ozone and many chemicals. The best part is, that they are all-weather proof.
2. Keep Industry/Product Standards in Mind
Standards for sealing devices vary depending on industry, location and product. Industries such as pharmaceutical, automotive, and oil and gas have very specific standards that must be met.
So before hitting the market for a new sealing device, make sure you have a proper grasp of what the sealing standards are for your industry. Additionally, some certifications may also be applicable, including UL (International Safety) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
3. Acquaint Yourself With Your Pressure Requirements
All sealing devices are designed to withstand maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP). This is a crucial metric to keep in mind because a sealing material is only as good as the pressure it can handle.
If you work in high-pressure environments, it’s prudent to purchase sealing devices that can withstand not just pressure exerted on it from the flange face, but also from internal and external environments.
The fastest way to know which material works for your industry’s specific pressure requirements is to peek into the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ classification system. In there, you’ll find seven pressure classes, with the lowest being 150 and the highest 2500.
4. Learn a Thing or Two About Durometer
Durometer refers to the standard for measuring the hardness of objects like rubber and plastic. There are a few different measurement scales called Shores, ranging from Shore 00 to Shore A to Shore D and beyond. The Shore A type is generally used to measure the hardness of most rubber compounds. The higher the reading, the harder the compound. For most applications, a durometer hardness of 70 to 90 is the most suitable compromise for compounds.
It’s worth noting that softer compounds stretch easier and seal better on rough surfaces. Harder compounds, on the other hand, offer greater abrasion resistance and resistance to extrusion. If you work in a high-pressure environment, extrusion is a factor that you can’t afford to ignore when choosing an ideal sealing device.
There’s no doubt that selecting material hardness for your applications can be hard. It is prudent to work with an experienced manufacturer to determine the best and most effective sealing device for your industry.
Prioritize Performance Quality Over Price
The right sealing device for your applications might carry a hefty price tag, but it’s certainly going to be worth it in the long run. Remember, a poor-quality device is bound to fail somewhere down the road, subsequently compromising safety or resulting in equipment failure. That’s too big a price to pay for such a small window of ignorance. Endeavor to make the right decision from the get-go.