If you have an piece of industrial equipment in your machine shop or factory, then you may understand that a variety of rubber gaskets and seals are likely installed inside the machinery to ensure proper functionality of parts. If a seal fails, then it does need to be replaced. However, commercial parts do not always make good replacements. In this situation, it may be wise to invest in custom rubber varieties. Keep reading to understand a few factors that are considered when these parts are formed for your machines.
The material chosen to create your rubber seals is undoubtedly one of the most important factors. There are several different materials that can be used, and they include ethylene-propylene, silicone, nitrile, neoprene, and natural rubber. All of these materials are ideal for different environments, so that needs to be considered. For example, if the part is placed in an environment where temperatures drop 100 degrees below freezing, then silicone should be utilized. Silicone is also a great choice in situations where temperatures exceed 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, if the machinery will be exposed to high levels of UV radiation, like if it is located outdoors, then it is best to choose something like ethylene-propylene. Also, the possible materials that will come into contact with the gasket will need to be considered. Some types of materials can break down the rubber gaskets. For example, oils can break down natural rubbers, but neoprene is resistant to this sort of breakdown, so it is best used in situations where things like motor oil will comes into contact with the seal.
You probably already know that a seal works correctly due to the way it is compressed between two different components or parts. The ability of the seal to compress properly is considered when a custom seal is created. There are different factors that are looked at when it comes to compressibility, and the type of machinery and seal you need will determine what is best.
Compression set is one thing that will be considered and this is the ability of the rubber seal to bounce-back or return to normal once it is compressed. You will need a high compression set if the seal if pressure will be applied to the seal and then released on a regular basis. Stress relaxation will also be considered in relation to compression set. This term refers to the way that the rubber seal loses pressure as it adjusts to the way it is compressed in the machinery.
Hardness and geometry are a few other factors that are looked at as well and can determine how yourseal is created, so make sure to speak with a rubber seal manufacturer about these and other factors and how they play a roll in seal creation.