Whether you’re working in the medical, aerospace, or automotive industries, the right seals can make all the difference in maintaining proper performance and extending the lifetime of your equipment. But with so many options available, it can take time to determine which seals best fit your specific needs.
This guide will teach you how to find the best rubber seals for your applications, complete with industry-specific examples and tips.
1. Understand Your Specific Needs and Requirements
Before you start shopping for rubber seals, you must clearly understand what your equipment needs in terms of sealing performance. Consider factors such as temperature, pressure, and chemical exposure.
2. Consider the Type of Seal
Many different types of rubber seals are available, including o-rings, gaskets, and lip seals. Each type has its unique set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to select the one that best fits your specific application.
For example, in the automotive industry, rubber seals are commonly used to prevent the leakage of fluids, oil, and gasses. Viton rubber is one type of seal that is often used in engine applications where resistance to oil and temperatures is required. It has superior chemical resistance compared with other elastomers making it perfect for sealing moving parts from oils and lubricants.
3. Look for Seals with Good Durability and Flexibility
Rubber seals that can withstand repeated movement and pressure without becoming distorted or damaged are ideal for use in equipment that needs to be used over long periods. For example, in the aerospace industry, seals that can withstand extreme temperatures and UV radiation are crucial for protecting the aircraft from environmental exposure.
Silicone rubber and neoprene rubber are commonly used in aerospace applications. Each type has its specific properties that make it suitable for many applications.
4. Consider the Material of the Seals
Rubber seals can be made from various materials, including nitrile, silicone, and Viton. Each material has its own unique properties and is better suited for certain applications.
For example, in the medical industry, seals made from silicone are commonly used as they are durable and safe for use in the human body. Silicone rubber seals offer excellent resistance to temperatures and are typically used when temperature resistance is necessary. They also have good tensile strength, high flexibility, good compression set resistance, and excellent dielectric properties making them ideal for medical devices, implants, o-rings, and gaskets.
5. Check for Certifications and Standards
It’s also essential to ensure that the seals you choose meet industry certifications and standards. This can include certifications such as FDA, USDA, and NSF for food and medical applications and military and aerospace standards.
6. Learn From the Experts
The best way to become more knowledgeable and familiar with different types of o-rings and rubber seals is to get expert guidance. For instance, the Apple Rubber Academy will teach you about different types of seals, their properties, and best practices for installation and maintenance.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you are using the best rubber seals for your specific application. Rubber seals are a small but crucial component of many industries, and choosing the right ones can make a big difference in the performance and longevity of your equipment and products. Take the time to research and understand your options.